Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. Signs Lease for Future Headquarters in the Heart of Downtown Kansas City, MO

Innovative, sustainable proposed design at 1400 Baltimore further enables firm’s transformation and growth plans

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., (NYSE: WDR) today announced the culmination of its new headquarters location search by signing a lease for an innovative, distinctive and sustainably-designed building within an enhanced enterprise zone in the heart of downtown Kansas City, MO.

Located at 1400 Baltimore Avenue, the building is anticipated to be 18 stories with approximately 260,000 square-feet, bringing a significant downtown capital investment, construction jobs to complete the build, and the added economic impact of approximately 1,000 high-quality positions based downtown.

“Our foremost goal is a location that allows us to build an environment that accommodates the workforce of tomorrow and enables us to attract and retain top talent to accelerate our growth strategy. This will benefit our clients, employees, affiliated advisors, shareholders and the Kansas City community,” said Philip J. Sanders, CEO of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. “This site offers the opportunity to showcase downtown Kansas City to the thousands of visitors to our company, including management teams from major corporations across the country. We were founded in Kansas City, MO, in 1937, and while this allows us to return to our roots, we look forward to continuing to be a strong, fully engaged partner to both the downtown and broader Kansas City community.”

Waddell & Reed is partnering with local firms on the project: Burns & McDonnell on exterior design and construction, and HOK on the interior space. With an environmental, social, governance (ESG) focus in mind, the building design will pursue LEED efficiency (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and FitwelSM Health certifications in recognition of the company’s sustainability initiatives.

Renderings show that the planned structure features an iconic, state-of-the-art design, located immediately east of the Kansas City Convention Center in the heart of the business district. The office tower will sit atop a parking garage offering spaces that would be available for public parking during off-business hours.

Highlights of the build-to-suit design include:

  • Overall exterior and interior design that creates a full brand experience and celebrates the Company’s culture by reinforcing the Company’s purpose, vision and core values;
  • A unique employee experience including a sky/rooftop terrace level that is anticipated to include a multi-purpose training and conference center, a modern, full-service café and multiple outdoor terraces with distinctive views of Kansas City;
  • An exterior that provides visual interest using modern finishes and timeless materials, accenting the neighborhood;
  • Exterior spaces for outdoor meetings and collaboration and break areas with natural plantings to align with Waddell & Reed Financial’s sustainability and wellness initiatives;
  • More than 150 collaboration spaces, including outdoor balconies on every floor, that promote cross-department interaction, accommodate diverse work styles and ensure a culture of belonging;
  • Technology capabilities that reflect the firm’s ongoing transformation, agility and efficiency initiatives, facilitating the needs and wants of the future workforce;
  • Energy, water and climate-control efficiency standards, a modern fitness center, ergonomic sit-to-stand desks for all employees, among many other steps that allow pursuit of the LEED V4 Gold Certification and FitwelSM Health certifications mentioned above;
  • Free garage parking for employees, featuring bicycle storage and electric car charging stations.

Groundbreaking is targeted for the first quarter of 2020 with an estimated completion and move-in timeframe in the first half of 2022.

“From our very first day in 1937, our Company has always looked ahead intentionally with an unwavering commitment to client service at the heart of every decision. We have made significant progress on improving our operational business model over the past two years. Now we are in a position to focus on our long-term vision and growth strategy. This move will serve as a key enabler of this strategy and better position our organization for growth opportunities to achieve that long-term vision and strategy,” said Sanders.

About Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc.

Through its subsidiaries, Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. has provided investment management and wealth management services to clients throughout the United States since 1937. Today, we distribute our investment products through the unaffiliated channel under the Ivy Investments brand (encompassing broker/dealer, retirement, and registered investment advisors), our wealth management channel (through independent financial advisors), and our institutional channel (including defined benefit plans, pension plans, endowments and subadvisory relationships). For more information, visit ir.waddell.com.

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. and its subsidiaries have approximately 1,000 employees in the Kansas City metro area. The company was founded in 1937 in Kansas City, MO, with its original headquarters at 9th Street and Baltimore. It moved to Crown Center in the 1970s and then to its current Overland Park campus in 1990.

IVY INVESTMENTSSM refers to the investment management and investment advisory services offered by Ivy Investment Management Company, the financial services offered by Ivy Distributors, Inc., a FINRA member broker dealer and the distributor of the IVY FUNDS® mutual funds and IVY VARIABLE INSURANCE PORTFOLIOS®, and the financial services offered by their affiliates.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which reflect the current views and assumptions of management with respect to future events regarding our business and industry in general. These forward-looking statements include all statements, other than statements of historical fact, regarding our business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations, including statements with respect to organic and inorganic growth and the transformation of our business. These statements are generally identified by the use of such words as “will,” “continue,” “anticipated,” “intent,” and similar statements of a future or forward-looking nature. Readers are cautioned that any forward-looking information provided by us or on our behalf is not a guarantee of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including but not limited to those disclosed in the “Risk Factors” section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.

The foregoing factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read together with other cautionary statements included in this and other reports and filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the information in Item 1 “Business” of Part I and Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of Part II to our Annual Report on Form 10- K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and as updated in our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the year ending December 31, 2019. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and we undertake no duty to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law.


Roger Hoadley

VP, Communications


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