When Deutsche Bank opened its office in Jacksonville Florida in 2008, it seemed like a good idea. After all, the state has some great universities, a low cost of living and pay that’s 30% below New York City. It also has, “unusually nice,” people. Unfortunately, it also has storms, and Deutsche’s 2,000 person Jacksonville office is in the advisory area for Irma.
Although the storm’s been downgraded to category two, Jacksonville is in the front-line for the flooding in its aftermath and Deutsche’s office has been closed. The bank didn’t immediately respond to a request for clarification on the situation, but calls are being rerouted to New York and staff confirm that the office is not open.
Jacksonville’s sheriff has been warning this morning of an “unprecedented surge” which is expected to coincide with the high tide at noon. Coming on the back of previous heavy rain, the surge is expected to lead to flooding of up to six feet along river areas and up to four feet further inland. As the map below shows, Deutsche Bank’s office in the Deerwood area of Jacksonville isn’t immediately adjacent to the river, but nor is it that far away. It’s not inconceivable that it could be seriously impacted, not least because any Deutsche employees who live in the areas alongside the river will have been evacuated and the closure of bridges will make it difficult to travel to work.
The problems are likely to be ongoing, with the sheriff warning that flooding will continue throughout the week as tides go in and out.
Deutsche houses middle and back office staff working across its divisions (global markets included) in Jacksonville. Staff there cover everything from operations to information technology, finance, cyber-security, compliance, anti-financial crime, legal, group audit and risk. For the moment, those jobs will need to be done elsewhere.
Photo credit: Hurricane Irma Prep in St. Petersburg by CityofStPete is licensed under CC BY 2.0.