ICMA-RC celebrates the grand opening of its Richmond location
Top officers from ICMA-RC, one of downtown Richmond’s newest corporate tenants, came to town Wednesday for the grand opening of its Riverfront Plaza office.
During a ribbon-cutting celebration and tours, the company’s CEO Bob Schultze and COO Gregory Dyson shed more light on why the provider of public-sector retirement plans chose Richmond from among 20 cities for a second location, a 55,000-square-foot office expected to hire 250 people by 2019.
Schultz said 103 people now work at the company’s Richmond location on the fifth and six floors of Riverfront Plaza’s East Tower. They moved into the office in mid-June. As the company expands its workforce, it plans to lease space on the seventh floor as well. An open floor plan offers plenty of space, Dyson said, along with views of the city’s skyline and the James River. The office walls are decorated with large depictions of public-sector employees in areas such as parks and recreation and public works.
Renting a similar type of Class A office space in Washington, D.C., where ICMA-RC has its headquarters, would cost a lot more than in Richmond, Schultze told a large gathering of city officials, including Mayor Levar Stoney.
“We outgrew our space in D.C, and it’s really expensive to add space there,” said Schultze. “Space in Richmond is one third the cost of space in D.C.”
Plus, Schultze said the two-hour drive to and from the D.C. headquarters makes it easy to attend meetings between the two offices.
The company also was familiar with Richmond, he added, because the city is one of ICMA-RC’s clients. “We’ve been serving Richmond, primarily for retirement benefits, for 30 years,” Schultze said.
Another piece of history: the company’s first client hailed from Virginia. ICMA-RC's first plan was for the city of Charlottesville under the direction of then City Manager Cole Hendrix. ICMA-RC is still the Charlottesville's retirement plan provider, Schultze said.
ICMA-RC got its start in 1972 through the assistance of a Ford Foundation grant to provide portable retirement savings to public-sector employees. Today, the nonprofit organization administers and manages more than $50 billion in assets and has more than 1 million local and state government participant accounts across the country, including 130 in Virginia.
‘It gives me great pride to welcome such a mission-oriented company to the Richmond area,” Stoney said during his remarks. While he read a welcoming proclamation, the mayor joked that he wasn’t ready to turn over the keys to the city. “You all will have to do more to get the keys,” he said. ”Like move your whole headquarters, here?”