Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS), the Fortune 500 financial services technology giant whose Arkansas ties go back more than four decades, has unveiled plans to begin construction on a $145 million global headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.
At a ceremony in Jacksonville with Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis on Friday (Nov. 1), FIS officials said the former Arkansas tech firm had received city and state approvals on an economic development package from Florida officials to build a new, expanded world headquarters there to support the company’s continued growth.
“We are excited that FIS has chosen to expand its headquarters presence and employee base in Jacksonville,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a statement. “FIS is one of the world’s leading providers of financial technology and their commitment to building this new headquarters will stimulate the local economy and provide 500 high-wage jobs for Floridians. This important investment for our state and the Jacksonville community reaffirms Florida’s position as a hub for the financial services industry.”
To begin planning on the project, FIS said it has entered into a real estate purchase agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc. (Florida Blue) to purchase the riverfront property in Jacksonville to build its headquarters. That deal is subject to normal closing conditions and is expected to close no later than the second quarter of 2020, company officials. FIS will consolidate its 601 Riverside Ave., headquarters as well as two additional Jacksonville-based facilities into the new headquarters building. The company plans to hire an additional 500 employees by 2029 to bring its Jacksonville workforce to approximately 1,800 employees.
The new global offices is expected to be 12 stories with approximately 300,000 square feet of space. FIS expects construction on the new headquarters to begin immediately after the closing and to take about two years to complete.
Founded as Systematics Inc. in 1968, and later acquired by Alltel Information Services in 1990, and eventually bought by Jacksonville, Fla.-based Fidelity National in 2003, FIS is the world’s largest provider of banking payment technologies with more than 20,000 financial clients in over 110 countries.
FIS still has a major presence in Arkansas with several hundred employees working from the company’s three-story, 75,000 square foot campus in West Little Rock. In 2013, local and state officials offered FIS a bundle of targeted tax breaks to invest $3 million and hire between 150-200 workers at the Rodney Parham Road location.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based tech firm has also been instrumental in making Little Rock attraction for the fast-growing fintech sector that provides new innovations and technology for the financial and banking industry. In July, FIS Chairman and CEO Gary Norcross and Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced plans for FIS to extend sponsorship of the Venture Center’s popular 12-week Fintech Accelerator program for another year.
That program in 2019 received 225 applications from fintech startups across the U.S. and 31 other countries to participate in a rigorous 12-week program designed to accelerate the development of their financial innovations in the banking industry. Over the past three years, 10 startups selected to participate in the 3-month fintech bootcamp each were given $75,000, with the potential to earn an additional $100,000 to $300,000.
The need for the new global headquarters is in large part due to FIS’s recent $12 billion acquisition of global payments leader Worldpay Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 31. The combined company is forecasted to see annual revenue jump to $12 billion annually and yearly organic growth jump 9% through 2021. Following the summer deal, FIS said the company’s global workforce tally jumped from 47,000 to 55,000.
Today, in the company’s first financial report since the World Pay deal, FIS posted third quarter profits of $751 million on revenue of $2.8 billion, up 35% a year ago.