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South Florida Multinationals Oversee $221 Billion in Annual Revenues, Says Study From WorldCity and UM School of Business

February 27, 2009
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South Florida’s multinational firms oversee more than $221 billion in annual revenues, a 9 percent increase year over year, according to the results of a study conducted by WorldCity and co-sponsored by the School of Business Administration.

The WorldCity study, released Feb. 26, also finds that 1,146 multinationals represent 54 nations, employ 129,000 workers in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, and oversee 605,000 workers worldwide.

In the year-long 2008 study, WorldCity also examined the decision-making power of these multinationals by analyzing their corporate structure. Slightly more than 47 percent have a top marketing position based in South Florida, one-fifth have a director of human resources, 13 percent have a top technology position and slightly less than 6 percent have a top government affairs or public policy official.
“It is clear from these findings that Miami and South Florida maintain a competitive edge when it comes to international business, and that positions the region very well for future growth,” said Barbara Kahn, dean of the School of Business. “We are very pleased to support this important study and other efforts that illustrate the region’s economic strength and that encourage firms to establish and grow global operations here.”

Results of the study were released at WorldCity’s fourth annual Who’s Here’s Celebration for the multinational community on Thursday, Feb. 26. Dean Kahn participated in a panel discussion, “Winning in Tough Market Conditions,” held in conjunction with the release of the report.  That talk was about another economic impact — that of the worldwide financial crisis.

  Dean Kahn

 Dean Barbara Kahn with WorldCity President and
 moderator Ken Roberts

“In bad times,” noted Dean Kahn, “consumers fear to engage. You have to offer value and stability — the assurance that you will be here tomorrow.” She added that consumers are looking at price right now, but that companies that focus only on lowering prices are making a mistake.

“Instead of a low-cost approach, you have to focus on value,” she said. “But it has to be fair value. A premium price will not work if the product or service is not worth it.” Kahn noted that business has been in a new marketing paradigm for the past several years — one revolving around the customer experience, building community and generating interaction with customers. “To get customers to say the right things about you and your product, you have had to offer value,” she said. “Now, you have to continue to offer value, but you also have to cut costs and find ways to offer it more efficiently.”

This is the second year the School has sponsored the Who’s Here Economic Impact Study, along with the Beacon Council, the law firm Diaz Reus and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida.

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