But unlike those who relocated before him — most notably Citadel’s Ken Griffin — Robbins’ move comes with a twist. The founder of Glenview Capital Management is going to make Florida his family home and keep New York his professional one, at least for now.

Robbins, 54, will commute to Manhattan starting in August and largely abide by Glenview’s three-days-in-the-office policy — using his Alpine, New Jersey home as his base, he said in an interview. Meanwhile, he, his wife and three young children will temporarily live in a mansion in Palm Beach Gardens while building a house in Hobe Sound after his kids were admitted to the prestigious Benjamin School.

The decision by Robbins, a longtime leader at the Robin Hood Foundation, an antipoverty charity popular on Wall Street, ushers in a potentially new phase of the city’s wealth migration. While other Robin Hood board members like Paul Tudor Jones, Dan Och and Barry Sternlicht flocked to Florida in a more typical “snowbird” shift, Robbins is opting to relocate at a time when New York is trying to find its footing after the pandemic upended its economy. 

“I know of no business that has generated long term success by driving away its highest paying customers,” Robbins said during an hour-long interview, his first since disclosing his plans to investors. “I am in fear for New York’s most vulnerable to become victimized by the great migration.”

New York has long counted on the highest earners — many of whom are in finance — to balance its $100 billion-plus budget. As of 2021, the top 1% accounted for almost half of the city’s income-tax collections, up from 40% in 2019, according to the comptroller. 

Robbins said none of his firm’s roughly 53 employees is being asked to relocate to its new, smaller office in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Glenview, which oversees $2.3 billion, is having one of its best periods in recent years, gaining 16.6% in the first quarter, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Robbins has wasted no time making Florida feel more like home.

He’s working with the Palm Beach North Athletic Foundation — and NHL legend Wayne Gretzky — to build a $40 million ice hockey facility. Robbins, the former owner of US Hockey League team Chicago Steel, has two adult sons who likely will play professional hockey in Europe next year.

Robbins and his wife, Sarahmay, have three children ages 8, 5 and 2. He says the move is about them, less time commuting and finding a healthier lifestyle — not about taxes or politics.

“We decided that if wanted to relocate — now would be the time to do that, before their ties deepen,” he said.

Robbins isn’t making the decision lightly, especially after so many of his peers, including those involved in philanthropy, have departed. Robbins views the wealth exodus as a serious threat to the city, and is particularly concerned about a dwindling pool of cash for education.

“Unless we solve the big problem of driving high earners away from New York City, this challenge will be a persistent headwind for decades to come,” he said. “The imbalance, the inequities, are in danger of growing.” 

A top question, in his mind, is whether younger talent will stay in New York and give back. 

“What New York needs to do urgently is help cultivate and develop the next layer of financially successful individuals, and have those individuals be as philanthropic in their journey as early as possible,” Robbins said. 

Robbins likes the model of public-private partnership — one that Robin Hood leaned into when Wes Moore — now the governor of Maryland and a rising Democratic star — became its head, and Robbins was chair.

It’s one of the reasons he’s keen on the new hockey project in South Florida. Palm Beach Gardens has offered to lease eight acres of what is currently a city park to create a world-class facility. Private funds from Robbins and others will help with construction and developing programs. It helps that Gretzky’s son, Ty, will run an ice hockey school there.

Robbins said he got in touch with the project’s founder, Michael Winter of Leatherback Asset Management, about nine months ago when he and Sarahmay started looking to relocate to the area.

Interest in ice sports has been on the rise in the area, Winter said, thanks to the success of Florida’s two professional hockey teams, the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the influx of families from colder regions.

“In 85-degree weather, it gives you an excuse to put on your sweater you used to wear in Chicago,” said Winter, founder of the Palm Beach North Athletic Foundation. 

Robbins’ hockey connections are on display in Manhattan, too: He recruited longtime New York Rangers goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist as a co-chair for the Robin Hood benefit on May 13. Robbins will be there. 

And he said Glenview will also keep hosting its annual casino night for KIPP, a charter-school network. The next one is on April 17 at Guastavino’s.

“I’m going to continue to dedicate to investing in high quality education in New York City, because unfortunately that job is nowhere near done,” Robbins said. “Despite the unbelievable results that KIPP and other high-performing charters have produced, there’s still a significant need for additional capacity for high quality seats.”

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