Finance firm on the move

Greenwich is getting a boost to its local business community after Gov. Dannel Malloy announced this week that his office had approved a $5 million investment in loans and grants to FSC CT, Inc. to relocate Fifth Street’s operations to town.

The specialty finance company, through its Fifth Street affiliates, will bring approximately 50 jobs from its present location in White Plains, N.Y., to Greenwich and said it plans to add at least 46 more jobs as the company grows over the coming decade.

“Connecticut has long been home to some of the most sophisticated and innovative risk and money management companies in the world,” Mr. Malloy said in a press release. “Fifth Street’s move strengthens Connecticut’s competitive position in this global industry and demonstrates that Connecticut continues to be a preferred destination for firms that could locate their business almost anywhere.”

FSC CT, Inc. is an administrator and an affiliate of Fifth Street Finance Corp., a specialty finance company that lends to and invests in small and mid-sized companies, primarily in connection with investments by private equity sponsors, and Fifth Street Senior Floating Rate Corp., a business development company that invests primarily in senior secured loans to middle market companies.

The overall Fifth Street platform has provided more than $2 billion in loans nationally to the middle market community since its inception and has two Small Business Investment Company licenses from the United States Small Business Administration, which allows Fifth Street to continue to provide flexible financing solutions to smaller companies.

According to reports, the firm could well be located on West Putnam Avenue, utilizing property that was once the home of Nestle Waters.

“We are thrilled to relocate our operations to the state of Connecticut,” said Leonard Tannenbaum, CEO of Fifth Street and a Greenwich resident. “When completed, our new headquarters in Greenwich will support the rapid growth of our company and the overall Fifth Street platform, while maximizing the efficiency of our organization. The Fifth Street platform as a whole is one of the leading small to mid-sized lending organizations in the country, including being a lender to several Connecticut-based companies. We appreciate the governor’s vision to support the continued growth of Greenwich as a major financial services hub.”

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will provide a 10-year, $4 million loan for the purchase and fit-out of 44,000 square feet of space in a building located in Greenwich. As the company reaches hiring milestones, up to $3 million of the loan may be forgiven. DECD will provide a $500,000 grant to fund job training and a $500,000 grant for the installation of a fuel cell, wind or solar-powered energy system at the Greenwich site.

The project is expected to create approximately 498 construction jobs and 615 support jobs.

This move had a lot of support amongst Greenwich’s representatives in Hartford, many of whom have been vocal critics in how the governor’s office and the legislature has worked with getting businesses to move to and stay in Connecticut. However, the town’s legislative delegation have also been big supporters of Mr. Malloy’s initiative to try and bring in new bioscience jobs and companies to the state.

“Connecticut has long been a world leader in finance and investment management,” said Sen. L. Scott Frantz (R-36th). “We must focus on helping this important segment of our economy remain and grow in our own state. This assistance will help Fifth Street relocate and create jobs right here in Connecticut.”

State Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151st) said this was “welcome news” for the town and for the state.

“The immediate employment of over 1,000 construction and support jobs will strengthen both the financial sector here in the state and the lower Fairfield County area. DECD’s grant for a job training program as well as the state pursuing grant money for the installation of a fuel cell, wind, or solar-powered energy system at the project location makes this an attractive project,” Mr. Camillo said.

“Anytime we can increase jobs in Connecticut, it’s a step in the right direction,” State Rep. Stephen Walko (R-150th) added in the press release.

“We are grateful for the state support for companies to locate in our area,” State Rep. Livvy Floren (R-149th) said. “The Greenwich-Stamford corridor continues to thrive as an economic engine and job creator.”

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