EY to add nearly 400 jobs, create wavespace innovation center in Charlotte

EY is planning to create 375 jobs and invest $8.2 million in Charlotte over the next five years through an expansion and creation of a new innovation center.

The London-based business-services organization, also known as Ernst & Young LLP, will develop one of its EY wavespace centers in Mecklenburg County as part of the expansion, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced on Tuesday. The Charlotte location will be among the firm’s global network of growth and innovation centers, which are described as “bringing together multi-disciplinary teams to focus on disruptive growth, improvement strategies and technologies.”

EY, which provides assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, launched its wavespace centers about a year ago. At that time, the company announced new locations in Amsterdam; Atlanta; Mexico City; New York; Santa Monica, Calif.; São Paulo; Trivandrum, India; and Toronto.

“North Carolina is a powerhouse for financial and professional services because of the ambitious, talented people who live and work here and the educational and training resources at their fingertips,” Cooper said in a prepared statement. “The EY wavespace innovation center in Charlotte will create even more opportunities for North Carolinians to develop new ideas and creative solutions.”

The Charlotte center “will help clients face the challenges and opportunities of continuous change, digitization and disruption in their industries, with a focus on specific industry disruptors that impact clients’ growth strategies in financial services and energy,” according to the news release from Cooper’s office. The wavespace locations feature a shared methodology and platform that takes advantage of EY’s “deep industry domain” and regulatory experience with its “experience in disruptive technologies.”

The project will add local jobs in positions like forensic investigation, dispute data analytics, digital development, data analytics and robotics. Salaries, while varying by position, will have a minimum average of $74,926. That’s nearly $10,000 higher than the Mecklenburg County’s average wage of $65,285.

This is an exciting time for EY and the state of North Carolina. We are seeing new and diverse skills bringing creative ideas and innovation to business leaders across the state. It’s our hope that EY wavespace will build on this momentum, providing a physical location where innovative talents come together to collaborate and navigate this transformative age,” said Malcomb Coley, EY’s Charlotte office managing partner and Carolinas market leader, in a statement.

The accounting giant currently has an office in Charlotte at 100 N. Tryon St. in uptown as well as locations in Raleigh and Winston-Salem.

A spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Commerce said EY’s new project will be at its existing uptown office as well as at 1422 S. Tryon St. in South End. The latter location is the site of Beacon Partners’ 3.5-acre RailYard development, which will include 300,000 square feet of creative office space and 30,000 square feet of retail space. When asked about the EY project, a broker at Beacon told the Charlotte Business Journal that a lease is “not signed and not close,” and that terms are being discussed.

EY’s expansion is aided by a Job Development Investment Grant that was approved by the state on Tuesday. EY could receive more than $3.2 million from the performance-based grant. The project is expected to grow North Carolina’s economy by about $596 million during the 12-year term of the grant.

And EY’s decision to expand in Mecklenburg County — holding a Tier 3 economic designation — would move up to $1.07 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund — Utility Account, which is designed to help rural communities finance infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.