Ayco’s new headquarters in Latham, completed amid pandemic, continues to fill up
LATHAM – One of the region’s largest employers finally cut the ribbon on Tuesday at the new headquarters it started moving into 15 months ago.
Goldman Sachs Ayco Personal Financial Management’s new building off Route 9R in Latham totals 149,000 square feet and will accommodate 1,100 employees with plenty of elbow room. Construction began in the summer of 2018 and ended in the summer of 2020, just as many Americans were fleeing their offices by choice or necessity due to the COVID pandemic.
“We opened in July of last year and would have liked to have had this ceremony last summer, but we couldn’t,” Ayco CEO Larry Restieri said on Tuesday.
Remote work and rotating onsite work teams were the norm in 2020. But as the COVID vaccine became more widely available and Ayco consolidated its other two sites in the capital region, more employees started working on site.
“As things opened up we were able to attract more and more people here,” Restieri said. Returning to work in a brand new bright space with glass walls created a momentum all its own, he added, “Once people started to come in, the buzz started to grow. People love the building and work there.
It is a different place from the old office in Latham or the office in Saratoga Springs.
“The big change is that all the offices are inside the building. So every floor you step on has a clear view, ”Restieri said.
An on-site solar panel provides 60% of the building’s electrical needs, which has been constructed to high industry standards for energy-efficient design.
The building is occupied by Ayco under a long-term lease with Schenectady-based developer Galesi Group, which spent $ 45 million to build it on a site that for decades housed the former Starlite Music. Theater, aka the Colonie Coliseum.
The Galesi Group has spent millions more to build Coliseum Drive between routes 9 and 9R, to ease traffic jams that are expected to worsen when office buildings are built on the site.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of what was known as Ayco Planning Services in 1971 and was subsequently acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2003.
He left his offices on British-American Boulevard, also in Latham. The Saratoga Springs office will operate with fewer employees as part of a small network of satellite offices nationwide.
Ayco is demanding that those working onsite at Latham’s new headquarters be vaccinated, but has yet to demand that all of its employees stop working remotely.
Parent company Goldman Sachs lobbied this year to end remote working for its employees, and Restieri said there was a real benefit to working in the office. However, Ayco remains flexible.
“We also recognize that people need more flexibility right now,” he said, “because everyone is adjusting, whether it’s schools, whether it’s senior care. “
Restieri said Ayco did not have the problem that other employers have complained about – employees staying home to collect unemployment benefits that exceed the take-home pay they would earn while working.
The challenge of filling positions, he said, is “only in the sense that we are a growing company and there is a war for talent out there.” Retention is one of the biggest challenges any employer faces – it’s not just limited to us. This is the battle we all face, simply retaining your best talent. I think we’ve done a good job, but it’s something we focus on every day.
Now is the most important time to retain the workforce: Ayco provides investment management and other financial services to the HR departments of its client companies, and the employees of these companies seek advice directly from Ayco.
When stock markets fluctuate or there are major tax changes, these employees more often seek advice.
“[Our] people work hard – a lot of calls come in, ”Restieri said. “In a sparkling market, [clients] want to know what they should be doing. With everything going on in Washington, financial planning is important, and it’s a priority, especially for business executives. On the contrary, the need for our services is high.
Contact John Cropley at [email protected], 518-395-3104 or @cropjohn on Twitter.
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