Bank wants to bring 2,500 tech staff around re­gion into a cen­tral lo­ca­tion

The Buffalo News - - CONTINUED FROM THE COVER -

M&T •fromA1

eca Tower. The M&T re­quest prompted him to pro­pose adding more than 110,000 square feet of com­mer­cial space to the plan for the com­plex, which al­ready has 1.2 mil­lion square feet of empty space.

M&T al­ready has about 2,500 tech-re­lated work­ers in the re­gion, spread among sev­eral lo­ca­tions. The bank wants to even­tu­ally bring them into a cen­tral­ized lo­ca­tion, to pro­mote ef­fi­ciency and col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Jones called the planned tech hub an “in­no­va­tion fac­tory” where em­ploy­ees in roles such as tech­nol­o­gists, data sci­en­tists and cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence en­gi­neers “will work side by side with prod­uct own­ers and cus­tomer re­la­tion­ship man­agers to rapidly de­velop new prod­ucts and ser­vices that meet chang­ing cus­tomer needs and ex­pec­ta­tions.”

“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, so prox­im­ity mat­ters a lot,” Jones said.

M&T says its brick-and­mor­tar branch net­work re­mains an es­sen­tial piece of its op­er­a­tions, but the bank rec­og­nizes the need to be com­pet­i­tive and vi­able in the dig­i­tal world, where so many cus­tomer trans­ac­tions now take place.

Jones sees tech­nol­ogy as trans­for­ma­tive to the bank­ing in­dus­try, the same as in other in­dus­tries, and he wants M&T to tap into those ca­pa­bil­i­ties to serve its cus­tomers.

“What you re­al­ize is that the skills we need to in­no­vate around tech­nol­ogy and bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ences are the same skills that you would use in health care, the same skills that you would use in man­u­fac­tur­ing, the same skills you would use in al­most every in­dus­try, be­cause tech­nol­ogy is be­com­ing so ubiq­ui­tous,” he said.

Jones en­vi­sions the Buf­falo tech hub as at­tract­ing tech tal­ent not only for M&T, but also for other com­pa­nies and tech and en­tre­pre­neur­ial or­ga­ni­za­tions that want to “co-lo­cate” in and around the hub.

M&T is al­ready a pow­er­ful eco­nomic force, with about 7,400 jobs in the re­gion. Since 2012, the bank has ac­counted for 12 per­cent of the net pri­vate sec­tor job growth in West­ern New York, Jones said.

While the bank pre­pares for its new hir­ing wave, the bank al­ready has about 1,900 open po­si­tions across its mul­ti­state foot­print, in all types of its op­er­a­tions. Bankwide, M&T has more than 17,000 em­ploy­ees.

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