M&T tech hub could bring 1,000 jobs to Buf­falo

Bank look­ing to ramp up dig­i­tal pres­ence with build­ing of ‘in­no­va­tion fac­tory’ down­town

The Buffalo News - - FRONT PAGE - By Matt Glynn

M&T Bank’s push to more rapidly de­velop and de­ploy tech­nol­ogy will have a big pay­off for Buf­falo: More than 1,000 new em­ploy­ees who will be hired to work down­town.

M&T ex­pects to fill the first 250 of those jobs this year and to com­plete the hir­ing of soft­ware en­gi­neers, web de­vel­op­ers and other dig­i­tal po­si­tions over the next five years. The bank will also add 200 tech­nol­ogy-re­lated jobs in Wilm­ing­ton, Del.

René F. Jones, the bank’s chair­man and CEO, re­vealed the hir­ing plans Tues­day at M&T’s an­nual share­hold­ers meet­ing at its head­quar­ters. The hir­ing wave fits with the bank’s ramped-up in­vest­ment in tech­nol­ogy and its plan to cen­tral­ize where its tech em­ploy­ees work.

“We know where we want to go,” Jones said. “We know what we want to do. We can’t re­ally pre­dict the [hir­ing] pace. But we an­tic­i­pate to dive in this year and start get­ting it done.”

M&T has not yet re­vealed where down­town it will es­tab­lish its Buf­falo tech hub. Jones said the bank is “get­ting close” to that de­ci­sion but couldn’t spec­ify how soon an an­nounce­ment might come.

The Buf­falo-based bank has more than 7,000 em­ploy­ees in West­ern New York. Adding 1,000 work­ers to that would in­crease M&T’s lo­cal work­force by about 15 per­cent. The project would give a boost to down­town by bring­ing more work­ers into the city, while also bol­ster­ing the re­gion’s un­der­sized tech­nol­ogy sec­tor.

M&T’s em­pha­sis on tech­nol­ogy in­vest­ment has grown, with the ad­di­tion of Michael Wisler a year ago as chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, and the bank’s re­quest for pro­pos­als last De­cem­ber for a tech hub lo­ca­tion. M&T said it re­ceived more re­sponses than it had an­tic­i­pated from land­lords and de­vel­op­ers.

One of the land­lords in­ter­ested in the M&T ex­pan­sion is Dou­glas Je­mal, the owner of the va­cant One Sen

“The idea be­hind the in­no­va­tion hubs is that it’s eas­ier to cre­ate new things when you sort of bring peo­ple with mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines to­gether.” – René F. Jones, M&T CEO

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