Other States Courting SS&C [Hartford Courant]

June 22, 2011

In this article, I point out how when Gov. Malloy says, ‘We’re open for business,’ we’re truly not.

Article as it appeared in the Hartford Courant
June 22, 2011

CEO Of High-Tech Firm In Windsor Cites Factors In Connecticut He Considers Bad For Business

Windsor-based SS&C Technologies Holdings is being courted by other states and may, one day, move its corporate headquarters out of Connecticut because of a variety of factors that are bad for business, the company’s chief executive said Wednesday.

“We are being recruited heavily by other states and, my guess is, our headquarters will move,” SS&C CEO Bill Stone said via e-mail to The Courant. “We will maintain an operating group in Windsor, but highly paid corporate executives will relocate. Many of us believe the money we make is ours, even the taxes we pay. The government should spend our tax dollars in wise ways. Who thinks they are doing so?”

The issue came up this week as SS&C was planning a big announcement in Evansville, Ind., where the company is planning to add 500 jobs by 2014 as SS&C makes use of local and state economic development incentives. A public event announcing the plans was scheduled for Wednesday, but it was delayed until August.

SS&C is an example of the growing high-tech companies that Connecticut hopes to court and keep.
“In Connecticut private employers are at a competitive disadvantage in relation to: energy, health care, taxes, regulation and labor costs,” Stone said. “We have grown from 225 to 450 jobs in CT over the past 5 years or so even as the business climate has gone from challenging to hostile.”

Connecticut Senate Republicans said SS&C’s plans to expand in Indiana are an illustration that the state is over-regulated and not doing enough to foster business growth.

“This is just another indication that, when Gov. Malloy says, ‘We’re open for business,’ we’re truly not,” said state Sen. Rob Kane, a Watertown Republican.

Asked to offer specific problems in Connecticut, Kane referred to comments made in March by Stone as well as SS&C Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pedonti. Kane also mentioned high energy costs and a general environment of high regulation in Connecticut.

“No one is going to expand in a culture that is unfriendly,” Kane said.
SS&C is planning to add 500 jobs by 2014 in Evansville, as the company makes use of local and state economic development incentives.

The company, which makes software for banks and other financial services clients, has about 400 employees in Connecticut and about 1,400 total.

“We all know that Connecticut has not had a reputation for being the most business-friendly state in the nation in the past,” said Colleen Flanagan, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s spokeswoman.

Malloy has focused on balancing the budget, stabilizing the state’s fiscal outlook and approving measures to foster growth at Bradley International Airport and the University of Connecticut Health Center, she said.

“Changing Connecticut’s reputation for business won’t happen overnight, but Gov. Malloy is committed to job creation, growth and economic stability,” Flanagan said. “He was pleased to join Comcast just last week, announcing 100 new jobs in Enfield.”