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Miami To NY Hedge Funds: We’re Ready For You Now

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CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF
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Miami hopes to lure hedge funds out of New York with an updated twist on a familiar message: Come south for warm winters, zero state or city income tax and -- finally -- a downtown worthy of Wall Street’s elite.

“It’s really showing the maturity of our city,’’ said Nitin Motwani, a Miami developer and board member of the Downtown Development Authority. “The more people get familiar with what is happening in Miami — the real Miami — the more people are going to say, ‘I’m going to give Miami a shot.”

The campaign to woo hedge funds, private equity firms and other money managers by Miami’s DDA is the latest front in South Florida’s decades-long effort to move beyond its dependence on tourism, trade and construction to drive the economy.

The familiar trope of a year-round vacation looms large in the DDA’s message, as does comparing Florida’s lack of an income tax with the 13 percent levy paid by top-earning Manhattanites. But this campaign also rests on proving Miami’s bona fides for some of the wealthiest executives in finance. With a new wave of celebrated restaurants, a growing downtown cultural scene and an ongoing embrace of the “new Miami” by national media, the DDA sees an opportunity to make its message stick.

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