Today is the last day MasterCard International will have a New York City address.
The association, which decided more than a year ago to move its headquarters 27 miles north of the city to Purchase, N.Y., to cut expenses, has lost only 46 of its 575 New York-based employees, or 8%. The association expects to save $250 million with its 20-year Purchase lease.
An additional 52 people could leave the company within six months, said Hurley Ewings, MasterCard's director of corporate relocation.
According to an employee survey, 9% of MasterCard's staff will commute to the suburban digs on a trial basis, as they decide whether the trip is manageable.
Typically, moves of this size and distance cost corporations 17% to 20% of the work force in attrition, said Mr. Ewings.
At one point, MasterCard considered maintaining a small office in Manhattan for its top executives, but those plans were scrapped as the association opted for one office. The rationale for a small city office was to make it as easy as possible for out-of-town members to meet with senior MasterCard officials.
The association ultimately decided that it would be disruptive to split up its staff and that the Purchase office is conveniently located near local airports and train stations.
About 150 employees have already relocated to be closer to the new office, a 47-acre property adjacent to Manhattanville College. Some 200 employees will use commutation programs that MasterCard has established in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens that will provide shuttle vans to Purchase and buses from the local train station.
"Our focus is to retain our employees," said Mr. Ewings. "We don't believe that relocation (services are) the only benefit we should offer them."
MasterCard also shut down its Cirrus office in Chicago, moving about 15 people to New York.
Mr. Hurley said that of the employees who opted not to move with MasterCard he could identify only one senior executive, Arthur D. Kranzley, who left because of the relocation.
Mr. Kranzley, who oversaw MasterCard's debit program, recently joined Advanta Corp. in Horsham, Pa., as senior vice president.