The latest bank to announce a FinTech inspired initiative is BNY Mellon, after the company today celebrated the grand opening of a 32,000 square-foot Innovation Center located on its Pittsburgh campus. This marks the sixth related innovation center that the company has opened after related efforts in Silicon Valley, Pune, Chennai, London and Jersey City.
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Known by its previous name as Bank of New York (BNY) and its merger with Mellon Financial Corporation nearly a decade ago, the investment bank serves clients in 35 countries and more than 100 markets and had $28.9 trillion in assets under custody and $1.6 trillion in assets under management (AUM) as of the end of 2015.
Sixth innovation center
The new space in Pennsylvania will help facilitate technology innovation while tapping into the region’s universities. The new dedicated space is located within the company’s 500 Grant Street location and was described as using a cutting-edge design and functionality to optimize collaboration between the bank’s global technology and business functions, and increase speed to market for new client solutions, according to the press release.
“Pittsburgh is an ideal location for our latest innovation center because our more than 7,000 employees support nearly all of BNY Mellon’s global businesses,” said Ian Stewart, chairman, BNY Mellon of Pennsylvania, commenting in the official press release. “We have a large and highly-skilled technology team in Pittsburgh, and ready access to top talent from the university community making the Pittsburgh campus unique.”
Free-addressing floor plan
Similar to a co-working space or office that digital nomads use while on the go, the new location uses a “free-addressing” structure where there are no assigned desks, and instead uses a neighborhood-style layout to assign teams to different areas within the office floor plan. In addition, there are more stations in the new space than local employees – this is to account for the influx of travelers from other offices and teams who will work in the center on special projects.
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“Since opening our first center at the end of 2014, we’ve strategically added centers in locations that are hot beds of innovation – Silicon Valley, Jersey City, London, Pune and Chennai,” said Suresh Kumar, Senior Executive Vice President and CIO, commenting in the official press release.
“Each of our centers has a unique focus based on its regions’ strengths, and, collectively, they are helping to drive the digital transformation of our company. They are connecting us to top talent, promising fintechs, and of course, optimizing our own employees’ opportunities for collaboration and creativity in meeting client needs across the investments lifecycle.”
“We are transforming all parts of the company in three dimensions, which are people, processes and our NEXEN digital platform. By changing these dimensions, we are invigorating the culture at BNY Mellon,” added Mr. Kumar.
“The idea behind open seating is to encourage greater collaboration,” said Jen Wagner, managing director and head of the Pittsburgh Innovation Center. Mrs. Wagner added, “Employees can choose where to sit that week or day based on what they are working on and who they are working with. Something as simple as increasing proximity of project team members can dramatically increase productivity and creativity. It allows for real-time ideation, continual feedback and continuous iteration.”
“There is sound research into employee work habits that support all of the elements in this center, from the color palette and décor, to the abundance of natural light, and even the need for fun places for teammates to relax a bit with each other,” concluded Mrs. Wagner. “It’s all part of changing the mindset of what it means to ‘go to work.'”