Mary D. Kane is a proven leader in state, federal and global organizations and joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce as President & CEO in October 2021. In her role, she focuses on continuing to move the Chamber forward as the leading voice for businesses in Maryland. Kane has an extensive background in leading state, federal and global organizations, most recently at the U.S. State Department as Director of the National Museum of American Diplomacy.
This op-ed was originally published by The Baltimore Sun on April 15, 2022.
On March 29, I had the honor of attending the groundbreaking in Harbor Point for the new headquarters of T. Rowe Price which coincided with the firm’s 85th anniversary. It was a beautiful morning, and I was elated to be part of the celebration of this monumental win for the city of Baltimore and for Maryland business (”T. Rowe Price breaks ground in Harbor Point for new headquarters in downtown Baltimore,” March 29).
Since its founding in 1937, T. Rowe Price has remained a Baltimore-based investment firm even as they climbed into the Fortune 500 and became universally ranked among the world’s top asset managers. This point should not be quickly glossed over and I wanted to take the time to acknowledge the enormity of the statement they are making with these actions.
For top-tier businesses like T. Rowe Price, these decisions can be very difficult. Throughout my career, I have seen it time and time again — businesses lured out of their headquarters by out-of-state players offering perks that are too good to refuse. I have seen governors from competing states make personal calls to CEOs offering tax breaks, real estate and state funding in an attempt to nab a major player to their market. And more often than not, it works.
Look at the migration of major companies like Tesla, Google, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas over the last few years. Many CEOs are opting to leave California in pursuit of a lower cost of living, better tax laws and fewer restrictions. A more business-friendly climate is calling, and some of the U.S.’s largest companies are answering.
While I can’t speak personally to the pressures faced by T. Rowe Price executives, I am confident they exist. The fact that the firm is dedicated to staying true to their roots in Baltimore and has pledged to continue to support our vibrant community is a win of epic proportions for Maryland. Their beautiful and sustainably built new headquarters in Baltimore will help contribute to the continued revitalization of the area. As Mayor Brandon Scott said: “With this groundbreaking, they are making a bold statement that they are here to stay and share our vision for Baltimore’s renaissance. We will build on this as we look to continue to advance our city’s economic potential.” From this proud Marylander and on behalf of the Maryland business community, thank you Rob Sharps and your team at T. Rowe Price. This groundbreaking signifies more than just a new building, it illustrates your integrity, strong values and true engagement with your community. Your moral compass was on full display with this announcement, and we couldn’t be happier to see it pointing right to downtown Baltimore.
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