Four years ago, Fisher Investments started moving a portion of it’s client service operations to Clark County. Now the investment management firm with $44 billion in assets under management is preparing to take a new step in the process of cementing its future in Southwest Washington.
Construction of the company’s new facility in Camas will be complete this fall. At that time, company founder and CEO Ken Fisher said construction on a second, smaller building located on the same lot of Camas property can begin.
As Fisher explains it, the company’s Camas construction phase is part of an ongoing process that includes moving employees over from a leased space in Vancouver as well as relocating a number of staff currently living near the firm’s headquarters in Woodside, California.
“We’ll have people coming [to Camas] from most departments,” said Fisher. “That includes a large group of what we call CSAs (client service associates) that are doing various forms of paperwork processing for our clients.”
While a number of Camas-bound CSAs are certain to be folks relocated from California, Fisher said the majority of that group would come from local hires. The firm also plans to hire locally for its department that sets up appointments for sales people.
“Some people think all we’re doing is bringing people up from California, but we also hire locally,” said Fisher, adding that every employee will be good for Southwest Washington’s economy regardless of the place they’re moving from.
When asked about Fisher Investments’ long-term plans in Clark County, Fisher said time would tell.
“We don’t know exactly what the long-term future is except for the fact that we know Clark County is an attractive place for our employees,” he explained. “It’s not the only place for employees, but we fully expect to be able to continue building in Clark County for a long time to come.”
In measuring Clark County’s attractiveness, Fisher said his firm looked at the quality of the school system, affordability in the local housing market, a favorable tax structure and the conveniently located international airport.
“What we get in Camas is being just a few minutes out of the Portland airport, no state income tax, you get a home that (depending on what you’re trying to buy) cost approximately one quarter of what a similar home would cost you in the bay area, and [you’re in] an area that actually wants to see high paid employees,” he said.
CREDC business luncheon
Fisher, who is also a long-time Forbes columnist and author of many books on investing, will be in town next month to speak at a June 7 Columbia River Economic Development Council and Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce-sponsored luncheon titled, “Building a Company for the 2030 Business Environment.”
“If you were starting a business today, how would you design it differently in its model compared to if you were designing it 30 years ago? What skill sets in running a business are likely to be important in the future that may be different from the past? That’s the sort of thing we’ll discuss,” said Fisher.
For more information about next month’s luncheon, visit www.vancouverusa.com.