St. Pete Summit Touts Growth In Finance, Insurance

A group of financial and insurance industry leaders met in April to discuss what they could do to attract more industry to the Tampa Bay region.

Hosted by St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster, the Financial & Insurance Services Summit took place at the Franklin Templeton campus in the Carillon Center. According to Sophia Sorolis, St. Petersburg's manager of economic development, the focus was on attracting not only businesses, but qualified workers.

"The average salary in the financial and industry sectors is about $55,000 per year,'' says Sorolis. "These are relatively high-paying jobs. So any positive increase in human resources along those lines would be a success."

Another focus at the summit was on getting funding for new business.

"We talked about getting economic development entities to provide training that will assist businesses to get the employees they are looking for,'' Sorolis says. "There are a couple of workplace training programs offered by the state of Florida. We can help them secure that funding for necessary training. We want them to apply for the grants that are out there."

The panel was moderated by Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and included staff from Synovus Bank, Raymond James, RBC Capital Markets, Modern Business Associates, Franklin Templeton and Transamerica Financial Advisors.

"We have a very strong financial and insurance cluster here and we need to get the word out," says Sorolis. "We are going at that in a number of ways. We are here to help meet the needs of companies that may be expanding, and help them with development plans -- anything they need to relocate or expand here."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Sophia Sorolis, city of St. Petersburg

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