Gov. Bill Haslam and Mayor Karl Dean joined officials from UBS Wednesday morning to announce that the global financial services firm will be establishing a Business Solutions Center in Nashville, which will create 1,000 new jobs and represent a $36.5 million investment.
Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Haslam and Dean confirmed that economic incentives will be part of the deal for the facility, which will support the company's wealth management and investment banking decisions.. The state will offer UBS a Fast Track grant while Metro will kick in a per-job credit for the company, which plans to add the jobs over a period of five years. Both said the details of the respective packages are being finalized.
"We always say, companies have a choice where they locate," Haslam said during his prepared remarks. "And when a brand and company like this chooses Nashville and Tennessee, it speaks volumes about what is happening here."
UBS currently has two locations, and 300 employees, in Nashville. COO Kathleen Lynch referred to the company's long connection to the city, going back to 1927 with the founding of J.C. Bradford & Co., which UBS acquired in 2000.
"Expanding our presence in Nashville is the right business decision for UBS," Lynch said in a released statement, "The new UBS Nashville Business Solutions Center is part of our global strategy to continuously improve our efficiency and effectiveness for the benefit of our clients and shareholders."
The company is in "the final conversations" about the center's physical location, Lynch said, with an announcement likely to come in September. Previous reports had the company looking to lease space at the Regions Center, which has in the past few years lost a number of tenants.
Bill Hagerty, commissioner of the state's Department of Economic and Community Development, noted that Wednesday marked the second four-digit jobs announcement in as many months.
"I'll have to say, Tennessee is on a roll," he said.
Dean sung a similar tune about the upward trajectory of Nashville.
"What you will find here is a pro-business city with a high quality of life, with low taxes in a low-tax state," Dean said. "You'll find us to be inviting to newcomers, and a city that embraces diversity, making it so that any company that moves here from anywhere in the country or anywhere in the world feels welcome and wanted."
The mayor added that the new UBS jobs will pay "well above the average wage for our region," although Lynch said the specifics of various employee roles and salaries are still being worked out.
UBS made national headlines a month ago when became the third company to agree to pay millions in fines to mortgage entities Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae over allegations that it misrepresented the quality of the collateral supporting mortgage-backed bonds last decade. The company paid a total of $885 million to settle the claims against it.