Halifax like the Energizer bunny?

Since the days of old Frank McKenna, all the talk was about moving from call centres to the next level of back office functions that were higher value such as IT studios, accounting centres, etc.

Halifax, it seems, got the message.

The beat goes on:

Halifax, a centre for international finance? It’s no fish tale
Special to The Globe and Mail

On Wednesday, Bermuda-based Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Sons Ltd. said its fund services unit will hire about 400 people in the Nova Scotia capital in the next seven years.

The Butterfield announcement follows a decision last year by West End Capital Management, a fixed-income fund manager affiliated with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, to locate 75 positions in Halifax.

“This is just the beginning,” said Stephen Lund, chief executive officer of Nova Scotia Business Inc., the provincial agency that tries to lure business to the province.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. will provide up to $9.1-million to Butterfield over seven years if the firm hires at least 400 people. “We expect to see the number of job commitments rise to almost 1,000 in the very near future,” Mr. Lund said.

People familiar with the situation say the Nova Scotia government in the next few weeks will announce at least three other Bermuda-based companies will open offices in Halifax. One of these is the hedge fund Olympia Capital International, which plans to hire about 150 people in Halifax. The sources declined to name the other two.

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0 Responses to Halifax like the Energizer bunny?

  1. Blackjack says:

    Congratulations once again to Nova Scotia but have they stolen this from under our noses in NB?
    I have been writing about an Irish corporation with a New Brunswick connection who have been trying to get something started in St Martins or Sussex. I’ve been digging around this trying to find anything that could be helpful and today I was in Saint John where I met a friend who knew a little about it. This is his information not mine.
    The corporations name is Silver Maple Developments and the investment was worth $2 billion. It would bring in 400 permanent positions with another 400 – 600 at least during construction. They sought nothing except assistance to acquire land which they were prepared to pay for at market price.
    The attempted to buy land in St Martins which was where I got confused at first. None was available so they went to Sussex and were advised by the government from then on.
    At this point it is hard to identify what went wrong and who they were dealing with but the upshot is that they abandoned the Province shortly after the election. It seems they are now looking at NS (whats new?).
    One of the directors had been travelling around NB visiting with lumber people. They were interested in exporting goods to Europe. I actually saw this guy in Sussex when he was surrounded by Enterprise people.
    I dont know what the investment detail was but I found a website for them, if its the same corporation, and have emailed an enquiry. It looks like some kind of resort to me. I hope to get a reply that I can share soon.
    My question is this; How come none of this has hit the media? This is not a small investment. Has this been hushed up by government? Which departments were responsible? How many other opportunities have gone away quietly and just opened up in NS, PEI or NF without it reaching the NB media? A lot of local people know about this opportunity so why could the media not investigate it?

  2. scott says:

    They’ve been doing fairly well on the ED file in Nova Scotia. I wonder if Nova Scotians overall rejection of liberalism, in the last 7 years , has anything to do with it?

  3. David Campbell says:

    These stories never make the news because the people working on them are employed and want to stay employed. I know of too many projects to count that went south over the past decade. Bottom line is that NS wants investment more than NB.

  4. David Campbell says:

    John Hamm’s best decision? De-politicizing economic development by setting up NSBI with a board of directors. The province does have the OED for some files that are a little more politically motivated…

  5. scott says:

    Good point. Plus, they rolled out a very effective and ambitious marketing plan in the fall of 2004 that re-evaluated the roll, approach, brand, philosophy and priorities of Business Nova Scotia.

    To which, I might add, was directed by a roundtable of Bay street journalist, business people and stakeholders who had absolutely no political investment in the province of NS whatsoever. So they were able to give [BNS] their unbiased opinions.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Exactly, and why do you think they want more investment? You think they just dont like New Brunswickers, or…

  7. Anonymous says:

    YOu cant de politicize economic development. If a company wants to buy land, obeys zoning laws, labour regulations, hire people and not get anything from the government then there isn’t a damn thing the government can do about it, and if all those conditions are present aren’t even going to try.

    The difference comes about when corporations are blackmailing governments to see who will put out more. The government that puts out the most generally wins. In NS, there is no way to de politicize an agreement that sees the government paying one tenth of workers salaries.

    As you say, it depends who ‘wants it more’. In the long run of course there is no way of knowing whether this will pay off. Nova Scotians already pay higher provincial tax, and a larger percentage of their taxes go to debt. So it really depends what you think is important.

    As I’ve said, a far better plan would be to provide the infrastructure, training, and opportunities for New Brunswickers to create more wealth from external markets and bring it home. These may be high paying jobs, but this is the same as forestry in Nackawic, which is sometimes derided here, and that’s that once the companies come in, there is no way of knowing how much the government will be shovelling into them and whether it will ever stop. Those details aren’t given out, and governments don’t like to look bad.

    It’s hard to tout success before the fact. In NB I’ve heard from government workers that the place is essentially a branch outpost of the federal government. Nobody wants to rock the boat in an environment that seldom rewards success and often punishes failure. Comparing the two provinces politically, I’d have to disagree with the above post that this is a ‘rejection’ of liberalism, depending of course how you define it. If anything, this is latching onto liberalism in a gung ho way, virtually the opposite of the statement above.