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