Thursday, September 1, 2016

Envestnet Moves into Chesterbrook

by Joseph N. DiStefano, Staff Writer Philadelphia Inquirer

Envestnet Inc., a publicly-traded Chicago company that makes software for investment firms, plans rapid expansion at its new software development center in Chesterbrook, Tredyffrin Township, which opened in June.

"I moved here from Chicago with my family" to head the operation, Josh Mayer, Envestnet's chief operating officer, told me. The company has hired over 100, expects to have 153 total staff to qualify for state aid by the end of the year, and has adjoining space to accomodate hundreds more.

Mayer likes the 10-minute commute, Tredyffrin-Easttown schools, and the "vibrant talent pool" of financial software developers and service professionals along U.S. 202 in Philadelphia's western suburbs.

"We did a search," Mayer told me. "I have people in Boston, in Denver, in Silicon Valley. But this area checked all the boxes for us. There are universities nearby. We have proximity to New York (financial clients) and transportation to our Chicago headquarters."

Most important: "I was pleasantly surprised by the significant technology presence here," with competitors including SEI Invesments in Oaks and Lockwood Advisors Inc. in Malvern, software development partners such as Wheelhouse Analytics in West Chester, and clients including Brinker Capital in King of Prussia and investment advisers who manage ETFs from Vanguard Group in Malvern. "We've had a lot of early success finding people with financial services backround who are also software engineers and talent people," Mayer concluded.

Pennsylvania has agreed to pay Envestnet nearly $500,000 in tax credits and grants, in exchange for the company's promise to hire at least 153 fulltime workers. The company has moved into 1000 Chesterbrook Blvd., Suite 135.

According to the state government's corporate-aid proposal, Envestnet planned "to consolidate portions of its operations from Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Denver and New York and other locations in the U.S. to a new leased facility in Chester County."

"Envestnet plans to invest at least $4.9 million in the project and has committed to creating 153 new full-time jobs over the next three years," according to a statement from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's office. Envestnet last year earned around $12 million in profits, from sales of $421 million.

In a statement, Envestnet president Bill Crager said the company has already hired 115 workers "since moving into our facility in June," and plans to hire the rest of the 153 "by the end of the year."
The state Department of Community and Economic Development has agreed to give the company $459,000 in tax credits (corrected, not grants) after the new workers are hired, plus $36,000 from the WEDnetPA employee-training fund.

In a statement, State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-Chester County, credited the recently-completed new lanes speeding traffic on congested US 202 for helping attract new and expanded employers to the aging office corridor.

According to Dinniman, the road helped open the way for Envestnet, as well as recent hiring announcements by health IT tech provider Cerner Corp., which is adding 250 at Great Valley Corporate Center north of Malvern, and biopharma developer Radius Health, which is adding 80 at its Swedesford Rd. location in eastern Tredyffrin Township.

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