contentsGreater Omaha NE Chamberads

Financial Sense

TD AMERITRADE’s decision to build a new headquarters building, the centerpiece of consolidating its scattered Omaha sites at a new campus, says the company has a good financial reason to stay in the city where it was started.

It’s the same reason other multi-state financial services companies, banks and insurance operations have stayed in Omaha or moved here: a lower cost of doing business. In short, office space is a bargain in Omaha and a cost of living 10 percent lower than the national average means personnel costs are lower, too.

In addition, Dan Neary, chairman and CEO of Mutual of Omaha, cites the availability of a well-educated workforce, thanks to a strong education system, and cultural advantages that play a part in recruiting executive talent.

For insurance companies, there are additional advantages that Neary notes: one of the country’s lowest state tax rates on insurance premiums and a positive regulatory environment that balances consumer and insurer interests.

First National Bank of Omaha in recent years has redeveloped several blocks of downtown Omaha where it built a 40-story headquarters from which to run the nation’s largest privately-owned bank and a nationwide credit card operation that is the 13th largest in the United States.

Mutual of Omaha Bank shares a famous name and a hilltop campus just west of downtown with the 100-year-old insurance company out of which it grew. Just three years old, it has grown quickly by acquiring banks outside of Nebraska. In addition to Nebraska, it has banks in California, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Florida and loan offices in Iowa and Kansas.

Other Omaha-born financial services firms that have expanded beyond their home town to become known nationwide: PayFlex, which administers employee benefits programs such as flexible spending accounts; FirstComp, an unemployment compensation underwriter; and ACI Worldwide, a pioneer in financial transaction software, like that which made ATMs possible.

Omaha claims other recognizable financial institutions that the public may not generally associate with the city.

While PayPal is headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley, its global operations center, now in Greater Omaha, started here with home-based customer service agents.

Bank of the West came to Omaha when it bought Commercial Federal Bank and stayed to open a regional financial center.

Aflac, Pacific Life and Fidelity National Title Group, Inc. re-domiciled in Nebraska and set up major insurance operations in Omaha. The low state tax on insurance premiums that Neary noted was one more reason, added to financial incentives and the savings in operating costs, for their moves.

previous topic
next topic
Town Square Publications