Tag: Business & Financial Services

City National Bank Growing in Delaware

City National Bank Plans Major Newark Expansion

NEWARK – City National Bank, one of the largest West Coast banks that’s known as the “bank to the stars,” is planning a major expansion in Delaware.

The 35th largest bank in the country with more than $95 billion in assets, City National Bank has operated a trust office in the Linden Park office complex for several years. The company recently signed a lease for 30,000 square feet in the Buccini/Pollin Group-owned Iron Hill Corporate Center near Newark, according to Justin Rowley, a senior vice president of City National.

The new space will be home to a major workforce expansion for City National, growing its headcount by more than 475% in adding 253 new positions over the next few years, including operations managers, project managers, business analysts, operations specialists and other similar positions. That hiring is expected to begin in early 2023.

About 175 of those jobs will be lower, entry-level roles, but City National is preparing a $80,000 average starting salary at the office, which is about 10% higher than the state’s median household income.

The state’s public-private economic development organization, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, has been working with City National since July on the project, and was reportedly considering other sites along the East Coast.

Geography played an important part to City National’s decision to come to Delaware, as it is equidistant to the bank’s hubs in New York and Washington, D.C., and close to the Philadelphia International Airport, which offers direct flights to Los Angeles.

Several of City National’s senior East Coast executives also work out of the current Pike Creek-area office, including Rowley, who is a Dewey Beach resident and a University of Delaware grad.

“We know the state very well. Many of the colleagues who work in our current state office have long-term and tenured experience with the state of Delaware. We know the talent and the university systems, and we know it can uniquely support our expanding growth,” Rowley told the CDF on Monday morning.

To support its expansion, the state’s job investment board, the Council on Development Finance, unanimously signed off Monday on a more than $3.53 million package of grants. That includes more than $2.75 million in a job performance grant to create the 253 jobs, $270,000 in a capital expenditure grant to support fit-out of its new offices and up to $500,000 for a workforce training grant.

The 68-year-old, Los Angeles-based bank is well-known for catering to Hollywood movie stars, helping to earn its moniker of “bank to the stars.” City National offers a full suite of personal, private and business banking, including wealth management, brokerage and leasing services, and software solutions. While supportive of customer needs, the Delaware workforce is not planned to be client-facing and focus on administrative and back-office needs, Rowley said.

Despite its roots in the City of Angels, the bank was acquired in 2015 by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the largest bank in Canada. Rowley said that while RBC is active in the management of City National, the American bank does have a large degree of autonomy in its work.

At Iron Hill Corporate Center, City National will be joining an office workforce that has seen a refresh in recent years, including the arrival of Discover’s workforce.

When asked about its decision to invest in a large office space as remote working has increased nationwide, Rowley said City National is actually seeing more of its colleagues desire a return to offices for at least a part of their work week.

“We are not finding that work-from-home is going to be a permanent fixture in the workplace and for the banking industry specifically; and we’re actually seeing a demand from people to have either an office presence or hybrid presence,” he explained. “It’s the reason why we’re looking to expand our physical presence and building a location that is new, fresh, enticing, and actually can build that collaborative work experience. So, we actually think that the expanded office presence … will help us with our recruitment.”

This article was originally posted on the Delaware Business Times website at: https://delawarebusinesstimes.com/news/city-national-expansion/

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Ally Chooses To Grow Fair Square In Delaware

Ally Plans Wilmington Credit Business Expansion

28 September 2022  | Delaware Business Times

ally financial growing fair square financial in Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – Fresh off of its acquisition of fintech startup Fair Square Financial, the auto lending giant Ally is now planning an expansion in Wilmington that will add up to 150 highly paid positions.

Founded six years ago by a handful of banking veterans from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Citigroup and elsewhere, Fair Square launched its sub- and near-prime credit card Ollo in 2017.

Led by CEO Rob Habgood, the startup quickly landed the support of notable investors, securing $300 million from investment firms. Supported by a $779,000 state taxpayer-backed Strategic Fund grant in 2017, Fair Square expanded its offices at the Brandywine Building in downtown Wilmington and hired additional staff to manage its data analytics, data mining, marketing and credit underwriting.

In December, Detroit-based Ally acquired Fair Square for $750 million and has since been considering how to further grow the business.

While Ally would have options to potentially move the credit operations – it has a number of offices spread across the country – the company has chosen to invest in an expansion of Fair Square in Wilmington. It will invest $520,000 to renovate 22,000 square feet of Brandywine Building offices and increase employment by up to 200% over the next few years. The average salary for the new positions would be $170,000 and include analysts, managers and directors, according to Habgood.

“Ally has the ability to significantly accelerate the growth of our credit card business to support this higher growth opportunity,” Habgood said. “We originally chose Wilmington to start a business because it provided access to a deep reservoir of credit card talent.”

In supporting that expansion, the state’s investment board, the Council on Development Finance, unanimously approved Monday a $20,000 capital grant and a $2.64 million job performance grant to create the new jobs over the next three years. Ally currently employs 75 people in Delaware and a handful more out of state.

While the council members questioned whether any of the roles could eventually be turned remote and moved out of state, state officials assured them that grant terms require the created roles to file Delaware income taxes. They also noted that Fair Square more than fulfilled the terms of its first grant.

Habgood explained that Fair Square employees are currently working a hybrid schedule after the pandemic, but in-person communication remains a valued part of their culture.

“Our goal is to get as many people as possible and we as a business have been successful because of the integrated nature of getting all people together and working through the problems,” he said.

Ollo – a name with no specific meaning but chosen for its easy-to-pronounce name – offers two different cards, one with no annual fee and one with unlimited cash back on purchases. It worked with Wilmington-based design firm Bounteous on the products, adding to its local commitment.

Like other near- or subprime credit lenders, Fair Square goes beyond traditional credit report metrics to identify good customers, including reviewing length of residencies, long-term credit history and other data to determine if they would reliably repay debts. To date, Fair Square has about 1 million customers holding loans worth about $1 billion.

In 2020, it successfully securitized $300 million in credit card debts, with favorable ratings from credit rating agencies, showing that its modeling had produced reliable clients.

This article was originally posted in the Delaware Business Times at: https://delawarebusinesstimes.com/news/ally-plans-wilmington-credit-business-expansion/

Kurt Foreman


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Delaware’s Star Venture Capital Analyst

Getting There First in Delaware

pedro moore Delaware entrepreneur

Venture Capital Analyst Pedro Moore Likes to Invest in Companies Pre-IPO

The First State provides fertile ground for them.

Pedro Moore developed his business acumen at a young age. The native Delawarean spent summers on his grandfather’s North Carolina farm, where he picked melons and pecans to sell to grocery stores. “That was my first taste of entrepreneurship,” he recalls.

Today, the enterprising Moore is an analyst for Daymond John, an investor on the TV program “Shark Tank.” Moore, a Delaware-based advocate for funding startups, is also starting a venture fund. And he knows both sides of the equation: he’s launched several businesses outside the venture capital world.

Moore, however, is just getting started.

Leveraging Connections

The William Penn High School graduate grew up in New Castle, Delaware. At the University of Delaware, he studied marketing and management. But he founded an entrepreneurship club that was open to all majors, not just business students.

Venture capitalist David Freschman, a prominent Delaware businessman, spoke to club members. The colorful personality was famous in tech circles for starting Early Stage East, a must-do angel venture fair. Moore had always wondered how to invest in a company before it went public, and Freschman was doing just that. The student volunteered to work at the conferences that Freschman organized, and a few years after Moore graduated, he joined Innovation Ventures, which Freschman managed.

Moore, an analyst, meticulously reviewed potential investments. Freschman had plenty of words of wisdom about the process. “He always said that when you are doing due diligence on a company, make sure you collect the facts,” Moore says of his mentor. “Don’t write that something is an amazing product. Write that the product got five-star reviews on Amazon.”

Freschman also told him to “trust but verify.” “Every entrepreneur will say their product or service is amazing,” Moore says. “We will take it at face value, but we are going to verify it as part of our due diligence.”

Moore then became the executive director of the nonprofit Delaware Innovation Fund, which Freschman also started. Both that fund and Innovation Ventures focused on growth and early-stage investment in information technology, software, and business-information services for legal and financial services.

First State Angels, affiliated with the Delaware Innovation Fund, pulled together high net worth investors to fund entrepreneurial ventures.

“The rest is history,” says Moore, who has been creating his own legacy since Freschman died in 2015.


Moore is no one-trick pony, and all his endeavors are laced with his entrepreneurial spirit. In 2010, for instance, he helped start the coIN Loft, Delaware’s first coworking space. Moore is also the owner of Bump N Play, the state’s first bubble soccer company. Players encased in plastic bubbles careen safely into each other like human bumper cars. The outfits also add a cardio challenge to the game.

However, his bread and butter is serving as a venture capital analyst for clients such as Wilmington-based True Access Capital.

Moore met Daymond John at one of Freschman’s conferences before the businessman and investor appeared on “Shark Tank.” Freschman offered to do John’s due diligence, and Moore took the lead.

John is now a busy speaker, motivational speaker and, of course, TV personality. He also is one of Moore’s clients. In addition to due diligence, Moore handles deal structures.

Not surprisingly, there is a demand for angel and venture capital funding. But there also is a need for guidance. “A doctor knows how to be a doctor, but he does not know how to invest,” Moore notes. “If he doesn’t have anyone to help him look at a deal, he’ll just hold onto his money. You need someone who can analyze the deals.”

Facing the Future

Next up, Moore is building a venture capital firm, Leverage Us Capital, which will provide flexible capital to women and minority-led companies in the mid-Atlantic region.

Delaware is liberally peppered with such entrepreneurs and startup companies. Consider a female business owner who sells “virgin” hair (chemically unprocessed human hair used for extensions). “She has a nice warehouse in Middletown and a great social media presence,” he says. “We talk about access to capital and how she can double her revenue.”

It is Moore’s goal to see her succeed, along with others who need funding. Because venture capital is a “people business,” Delaware is a good place for it, he says.

“I can’t imagine trying to get a hold of key people in Silicon Valley,” Moore says. “In Delaware, you’re only a few touch points away from a high-profile person. When the state is smaller, you’re closer, and you can reach the right people faster.”

And that, he says, gets the deal sealed that much quicker.

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UOVO Chooses Delaware

Inspired by Hurricane Sandy, UOVO specializes in the storage of precious artworks and collectibles

The final days of October 2012 wrought havoc on the eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine as Hurricane Sandy moved from Jamaica up the U.S. coast, its post-tropical remnants eventually merging with a nor’easter off the coast of New Jersey and turning west to slam into northern New Jersey and New York City.

The storm inflicted an estimated $78.7 billion in damages along its path, and the flooding of lower Manhattan also dealt a violent blow to the galleries in Chelsea at the center of the city’s contemporary art community, with one art dealer estimating that the losses to the art world would total in the “hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Among those who suddenly realized how vulnerable artwork and priceless collectibles could be in the face of Mother Nature were Steven Guttman, a prominent collector of contemporary art and modern furniture, and fellow collectors Steve Novenstein and Nick Coslov, executives in the self-storage company Storage Deluxe. Novenstein and Coslov had already created an art storage facility in the Bronx as an offshoot of Storage Deluxe when the three recognized a need in the market for safer and more secure art storage on a much larger scale.

From that idea born of tragedy, the three created UOVO, a dedicated art storage and services company that opened its first facility in New York’s Long Island City in 2014. The company has now expanded nationwide and includes a 50,000-square-foot facility in Newark, Delaware.

UOVO, which means “egg” in Italian, does what the name might suggest – protecting delicate and valuable artworks and collectibles for private clients, artists, corporations and museums.

At eight floors and 280,000 square feet, the Long Island City location was the first of its kind, said Andrew Barron, Director of Marketing for UOVO. “It was really remarkable in terms of the architectural ingenuity, the level of detail and the security climate.”

Since then, the company has expanded to include three more facilities in the New York metropolitan area – one in Brooklyn and two in Rockland County – as well as West Palm Beach and Miami in Florida, two facilities in the San Francisco Bay area, and Delaware. Additional facilities in Denver, Colorado, and Dallas, Texas, are forthcoming this year.

For those not plugged into the world of museums and fine art, it might come as a surprise that such a network of storage facilities didn’t already exist. But Barron notes that much of the transport and storage of art previously was handled by traditional moving companies.

“The industry was pretty mom-and-pop and emerged in tandem with the contemporary art world,” he said. “With UOVO, we redefined the industry standard. At our facilities, we have a number of gallery-quality viewing rooms for clients to use for private showings and photoshoots and for conservators to use for conservation work. I would say that, before UOVO, art storage facilities weren’t places anyone went to visit. UOVO really recentered the facility as a space where collectors, museum professionals, gallery registrar advisors and other types of clients want to be.”

The UOVO buildings themselves are distinctive but unassuming, similar to any anonymous but well-designed office building you might see on the edge of a large city or along a stretch of interstate. But what they lack in exterior flash they make up for with amenities, safety and security.

Lobbies and public spaces are designed to be warm and welcoming – more like the lobby of an upscale office building than a warehouse – and some sites include client cafés with cold brew on tap.

“We really invest in the client experience, and we think of our client experience team, along with our account managers, as the face of the brand,” Barron said. “It’s the first interaction a lot of clients have with us.”

Security is discrete but high, and buildings are designed with safety features based on their locations. The south Florida facilities are hardened against flooding and Class 5 hurricanes, while the California sites are designed to withstand earthquakes and wildfires.

UOVO clients can range from private collectors, galleries, large and small museums and art brokers, all of whom can use the UOVO sites in different ways, Barron said. For private collectors, UOVO allows them to rotate art through their homes knowing that what isn’t currently hung is safely stored. Private dealers appreciate the viewing rooms for showing works to clients, especially if the dealers don’t maintain their own brick-and-mortar galleries. Those traditional galleries, meanwhile, can use UOVO as a space to display works outside of their exhibition schedule for a potential buyer.

On the surface, UOVO’s decision to add a storage facility in Delaware might seem incongruous, but Barron said it makes perfect sense for the type of clients UOVO serves.

“Specifically thinking about New York and south Florida, as we expanded beyond the New York metro region, we thought about the different points of connectivity that matter most to our clients,” he said. “And we hadn’t had a way to service those clients, specifically institutional clients, who are based closer to Delaware, whether it’s Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., or Baltimore. So having the Delaware facility creates a space between New York and Florida and really gives us that network all along the eastern seaboard.”

And as Delawareans know, there’s no shortage of museums, historic homes and estates, and private collectors in the First State. Barron said UOVO’s presence will provide the resources to these clients that might have previously been out of reach.

“We accommodate all kinds of clients. In looking at institutional clients, we service world renowned museums and also small, local museums who are really community-based and -focused but who also have logistics or storage needs,” Barron said. “So certainly, it’s about servicing local enterprises as much as it is about being a point of connectivity for our national network.”

In coming to Delaware, Barron said the partnerships it formed through the Delaware Prosperity Partnership eased its entry into the First State. UOVO has since returned the favor by embarking on a five-year partnership with the University of Delaware’s Museum Studies program. Called Collections Aid, the program allows graduate students to get hands-on collection management experience at local museums and archives.

“It also helps these smaller institutions that maybe don’t have in-house staff members to do some of the work they need,” he said. “It’s a win-win for the community.”

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Best Egg Experienced Record Growth in 2021

Best Egg Experienced Record Growth in 2021

Delaware's Best Egg grows

Best Egg Launches Multi-Product Platform to Help Consumers With Their Everyday Finances

Best Egg, the AI-powered, online financial platform that is owned and operated by Marlette Holdings, Inc, and its subsidiaries is pleased to share information on the success it achieved in 2021. The platform experienced a record year facilitating 437,000 new accounts and surpassing over 1.2 million total accounts since inception.

“Last year, Best Egg experienced tremendous success,” Jeffrey Meiler, CEO and founder of Marlette funding said. “In 2021 the Best Egg platform facilitated $4.6 billion in personal loans, bringing us to over $15 billion in loans since the platform launched in 2014.”

In addition to a record-breaking year for personal loans, Best Egg introduced two new products in 2021. In June, Best Egg began piloting a new Visa® credit card, offering a value proposition that provides spending controls and features that will grow and evolve as customers rebuild their credit. To date, 19,000 consumers carry the Best Egg credit card with confidence.

In December, the platform announced the launch of the Best Egg Financial Health. Free to all, Best Egg Financial Health customers initially get access to features like their VantageScore® credit score with monthly updates, credit report alerts, credit score factor explanations, a credit score simulator, financial calculators, and a Knowledge Center full of tips and ideas to help people with their finances. Since its inception, the financial health platform has welcomed more than 100,000 members.

To celebrate the launch of the Best Egg Financial Health platform, Best Egg announced the ongoing Better Credit Sweepstakes, which started on January 1 and runs through January 31 of this year. The winner of the sweepstakes will receive $25,000 to help them get their finances on track for 2022.

“Our growth has been achieved thanks to the experts and professionals who contribute their talents to our mission to build financial confidence for people who experience challenges with their everyday finances,” Meiler continued. “Marlette has been recognized numerous times as a Top Workplace within the region, a reputation that has attracted top talent. Last year we hired more than 200 employees and plan to add 350 in 2022. Our teams’ efforts place us on a path for continued and sustained growth within the next year.”

Marlette doubled the size of its team to over 400 professionals while opening a new headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. The headquarters’ infrastructure was built to provide a pandemic-friendly workspace. The company embraces a flexible approach to the workplace, offering employees the option of using the office or working remotely. Jobs open now can be found at www.bestegg.com/careers.  

With a focus on helping consumers feel more financially confident and providing simple products that help them with the challenges they face with everyday finances. This will be achieved by continuing to use customer feedback to create value and deepen its customer base across all products, while also expanding the pool of customers it serves.


About Marlette Holdings, Inc

Marlette Holdings, LLC, d/b/a Best Egg, is a leading financial technology provider whose subsidiaries developed and operate the AI-powered Best Egg financial platform, which aims to help people feel more confident about their everyday finances. The team mixes decades of banking experience with deep customer knowledge and smart technology to deliver digital products, services and experiences in a more relevant way. Since March 2014, the platform has delivered over $15 billion of consumer loans with strong credit performance. For more information, visit www.MarletteFunding.com or www.BestEgg.com.

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Delaware Launches New Site Readiness Fund

Delaware Launches New Site Readiness Fund – Online Application Process

Site Readiness Fund Delaware Division of Small Business

The Delaware Division of Small Business is now accepting applications for the Site Readiness Fund from qualified businesses or local governments. Established through Senate Bill 127, the fund promotes economic growth and stability by investing in the development or improvement of commercial and industrial sites to attract job-creating businesses.

The Site Readiness Fund provides grants, loans or other economic assistance to qualified businesses or local governments that invest in constructing, renovating or improving commercial, industrial sites that are readily available to new businesses, established businesses that are considering moving to the state, or existing businesses within the state that need additional sites to remain or expand in Delaware.

“There is significant competition between Delaware and surrounding states to attract and keep vital businesses that create and maintain employment opportunities,” said Jordan SchultiesDirector of the Division of Small Business. “The Site Readiness Fund is an important tool we can use to stay competitive and incentivize those businesses to locate in our state.”

“The Site Readiness Fund creates more viable options for companies looking to locate or expand right here in Delaware,” said Kurt Foreman, President and CEO of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. “The fund provides an investment in ensuring that sites throughout the state are ready for the kinds of development and job growth we all value.”

Site Readiness Fund applications are available at business.delaware.gov/site-readiness-fund. Once completed, applications can be emailed to business_finance@delaware.gov.

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New Kent County Small Business Grants

New Kent County Small Business Grant Program

kent county small business and hospitality grants 2022

January 6, 2022 –

Attention Kent County Small Businesses Seeking Funds

Kent County Levy CourtCentral Delaware Chamber of Commerce and Kent County Tourism have launched a new $3 million grant program for Kent County small businesses. Grant funds are available for small businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees who had established operations in Kent County during calendar years 2020 and 2019 and are in still in operation today. Grant funds can be used to directly support the operation of the business.

 A similar $2 million grant program was also launched for Kent County hotels and banquet/meeting facilities. Eligible organizations include hoteliers and for-profit banquet/meeting facilities with established operations in Kent County during calendar years 2020 and 2019, which are still in operation today.

Both grant programs are currently accepting applications. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2022, or when funds are exhausted for the programs.

Visit the Kent County website to apply for a grant and get answers to frequently asked questions.

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ICM Chooses Wilmington for New Headquarters

Investor Cash Management Chooses Wilmington, Delaware, for New Headquarters


digital fintech company ICM Delaware

December 14, 2021 – 

Early-Stage Digital Fintech Company to Invest $15 Million to Create 395 Jobs as Part of Delaware’s Growing Fintech Hub Over Next Several Years

WILMINGTON, Del. — Following a considerable site search that included major markets across the United States, the early-stage digital fintech company Investor Cash Management (ICM) has selected Wilmington, Delaware, as the site of its new $15.37 million headquarters and customer service center. The company, which started in 2018 and currently employs 30, plans to grow its workforce tenfold, projecting the creation of 395 new jobs over the next three years.

A platform as a service (PaaS) provider in the fintech space, ICM uses an application programming interface – or API-driven technology – to link cash management accounts directly to specified investments, transforming investment products such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and/or shares into digital transaction currencies. The technology combines banking, investing and payments to drive client acquisition and increase assets.

The company plans to invest up to $15 million in its future headquarters and customer service center in the City of Wilmington. The jobs ICM will create in Delaware over the next three years will include tech positions, such as coders and programmers, along with sales, marketing, customer service, administrative, finance and managerial positions. Delaware Prosperity Partnership began working with ICM earlier this year on its site selection process.

“We are pleased to welcome ICM as it expands its operations and creates new jobs here in Delaware,” said Governor John Carney. “Delaware has a long legacy of excellence in the financial services industry, and we remain committed to fostering an innovation ecosystem for businesses of all sizes. Our location in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region, strong workforce and quality of life make Delaware a great place for companies to put down roots and create jobs.”  

ICM founder and CEO Fred Phillips presented to Delaware’s Council on Development Finance, requesting a performance-based grant of $3,797,310 and a capital expenditure grant of $461,100 from the Delaware Strategic Fund. Distribution of grants from the Delaware Strategic Fund are dependent on the company achieving goals as outlined in their proposal to the CDF, which reviewed and approved the request.

“We are thrilled to welcome Investor Cash Management and its growing workforce to our Downtown District – the beating heart of Wilmington – where you can dine in first-rate restaurants such as James Beard nominee Bardea, visit fine museums and galleries, enjoy live music most any night of the week or live theater that rivals the best Broadway has to offer,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “By locating its operations in Wilmington, a market with one of the highest concentrations of financial services jobs in the country, ICM joins a community of new and existing financial technology firms that are developing innovative banking products. And as a key tenant in our thriving central business district, ICM will operate among a variety of other well-established businesses, both large and small, as well as an increasing number of residents who are choosing to live downtown and take advantage of all the rich amenities Wilmington has to offer visitors and residents alike.” 

ICM is a Visa Ventures company, backed by marquee players in both the digital and financial services sectors, including the founders of Morningstar and Ariel Investments. The company also has partnered with PIMCO, Invesco, Trusted Capital Group/HUB Financial, WisdomTree and others to market their investor cash management account products and services.

Locally, the fintech firm announced in September a partnership with Delaware State University, which offers its cash management account products and services to students, faculty, staff and alumni. DSU leadership hopes to improve financial literacy among its students and improve the economic trajectory of traditionally un- or under-banked minority communities. Additional community involvement includes partnerships with the National Education Association, representing more than 3 million educators, and the Service Employees International Union, representing more than 2 million frontline workers.

Phillips commented: “After an extensive search, ICM is pleased and proud to announce that Wilmington, Delaware, is the home of our new corporate headquarters. We look forward to building on its foundation as a world-class center of payments and financial services, and we believe the appeal of the city and state will contribute to our ability to attract new colleagues and create a significant number of quality jobs while developing next-generation technologies that empower individuals to build better financial futures.”


About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting, and developing talent. The DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.

About Investor Cash Management

ICM is a Visa Ventures portfolio company that has developed unique, API-powered technology to create investor cash management accounts (ICMAs) linked concurrently to both bank accounts and specified investment products (e.g., mutual funds, ETFs, and/or shares), thereby enabling the client to obtain an objectively better combination of higher investment returns and immediate liquidity.  ICMAs transform the specified investment products into immediately liquid digital transaction currencies to seamlessly use via a debit card, ATM access, P2P transfers, and online bill pay. ICM has been listed among the world’s 10 leading fintech companies by Capgemini and UBS, and ICM was the featured fintech company at the Morningstar and Envestnet conferences.

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International Recognition of Delaware’s Fintech Opportunities

Option: 1

International Recognition of Delaware’s Fintech Opportunities

Delaware Prosperity Partnership visits Factory Berlin to share fintech report

Delaware Prosperity Partnership President, Kurt Foreman shared the findings from Delaware in a Fintech Future at Factory Berlin, one of the world’s most unique international coworking spaces, with more than 3,000 members from over 70 nations. The Delaware fintech report was researched and authored by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, First State Fintech Lab and the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration.

Delaware is already a financial services destination with world-renowned, established financial services firms including JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, and Bank of America. And now, fintech startups are thriving in Delaware’s innovation ecosystem, and mid-stage fintech companies from around the world are choosing Delaware to continue to grow. Acorns, a California-based fintech, recently opened a satellite operation at The Mill in Wilmington, Delaware while Marlette Funding is expanding and creating 200+ new jobs in the state.

As a leader in intellectual property, Delaware is competitively positioned to capitalize on the international surge of investment activity in fintech advancement. Globally, fintech investment has increased exponentially, with over $111.8 billion of investment in 2018 compared to just $18.9 billion in 2013.

Director of Research at the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, John Taylor, explained, “Delaware’s history as a leading international center for financial services—with deep workforce strength across both financial and tech occupations—has positioned the state as a natural home for both fintech startups and the established banks that have rapidly transformed into fintech companies.”

Some takeaways about fintech in Delaware:

  • Delaware has the highest relative concentration of financial services jobs of any U.S. state. Among U.S. counties, New Castle County ranks third.
  • Since 2009, nearly 200 fintech patents were assigned to Delaware-based individuals and companies, ranking first in the United States on a per capita basis, and fifth in absolute terms.
  • Finance accounts for more than one-fifth of our state’s GDP, the largest contribution of any sector.
  • Delaware has been a magnet for out-of-state direct investment by financial services firms in recent years, with $725 million invested since 2010. Wilmington is the leading destination in our region for this investment.

Delaware in a Fintech Future is available at www.choosedelaware.com/fintechreport.

About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Created in 2017, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) is the nonprofit that leads the state of Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses. DPP works with site selectors, commercial developers and business executives responsible for deciding where to move or grow a business. The team helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analysis, quality-of-life intel and funding opportunities including available tax credits and incentives. For more information, visit www.choosedelaware.com.

About First State Fintech Lab

The First State Fintech Lab (FSFL) is a nonprofit dedicated to nurturing and growing the financial technology ecosystem in Delaware by convening and collaborating across industries, disciplines, and demographics. The FSFL supports and helps foster novel public-private partnerships and dialogue; works to fill Delaware’s talent pipeline; and supports expanding opportunities and access to low investment communities. To learn more, visit firststatefintech.org

About the Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware

The University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration (IPA) addresses the policy, planning, and management needs of its partners through the integration of applied research, professional development, and the education of tomorrow’s leaders. IPA is a research and public service center in the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration. To learn more, visit www.ipa.udel.edu

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UD, Delaware Technology Park and Discover Bank Partner on New FinTech Building at STAR Campus

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UD, Delaware Technology Park and Discover Bank Partner on new FinTech Building at STAR Campus


Once a nearly blank canvas inviting imagination for what the university of the future may look like, the University of Delaware’s Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus is realizing such transformation on a daily basis. Combining top academics and research with industry and community partnerships, a renewed future is shaping in real time at this intersection of discovery, education and innovation, driven by a bold vision for positive impact on the world.

UD, Delaware Technology Park (DTP) and Discover Bank will partner on the construction of a new building that continues the STAR Campus’s march into the future, adding a building block that taps into the evolving world of financial services technology — commonly called FinTech — with an eye on growth for Delaware.

Like the previous construction on STAR Campus, the six-story, 100,000-square feet structure will bring various facets of an industry together under one roof, in this case the academic, business and governmental segments of the financial world.

“Working with DTP and Discover to strengthen Delaware’s growing FinTech sector, the University of Delaware is proud to participate in this public-private partnership, continuing development of knowledge and innovations that help drive our state’s economy,” said UD President Dennis Assanis. “Our University is a national leader in finance, technology and entrepreneurship, so combining our expertise and resources in these complementary fields will yield exciting opportunities for our students and faculty with meaningful impact on society.”

The new FinTech building will add immense value to Delaware’s growing prowess in financial technology. More and more financial services companies are morphing into technology companies. Global investment in FinTech-related companies rose from $18.9 billion in 2013 to $111.8 billion in 2018, according to a recent report by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

“We’re working hard in Delaware to support those entrepreneurs and innovators who will keep our state competitive in the 21st century economy, and drive new job creation,” Governor John Carney said. “We’re also good at working together in Delaware, and I am really pleased to see this kind of collaboration between the private sector and the University of Delaware. This partnership at the STAR Campus will help create a pipeline of skilled local talent, support our entrepreneurs, build on our strength in financial technology, and strengthen our economy over the long term.”

By constructing a hub where the financial services industry and academia intersect with technology and innovation, UD, Discover and DTP will contribute to the vitality of Delaware’s economy. UD’s research and instruction in data-related disciplines will create a highly capable workforce to feed the FinTech industry in Delaware, including the start-up businesses that will hatch, grow and spin out of the new facility.

The building will house:

  • Spaces for startups to develop and grow, managed by Delaware Technology Park. Tenants will have onsite access to business development resources and technical assistance.
  • Labs and centers associated within UD’s College of Engineering and Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. These spaces will link strengths and resources from both colleges on topics such as financial analytics, cybersecurity, human-machine learning and data analysis.
  • UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP) will relocate its offices from the Delaware Technology Park’s Innovation Way location.
  • Delaware’s Small Business Development Center, which will be synergistically located to offer assistance to OEIP’s Spin In program. This program connects UD undergraduate students with community entrepreneurs and early-stage startups to give them an inside look at business innovation in action and a chance to apply what they’re learning in real-life situations.

“Delaware Technology Park is excited to launch a new building project on STAR Campus in conjunction with the University of Delaware and funded by Discover Bank,” said Mike Bowman, president and CEO of DTP. “It will contain faculty, students and entrepreneurs with outstanding data science knowledge and digital management competencies as well as support resources for business development and community education.”

The $38 million project will be funded via a favorable below market interest rate loan by Discover Bank to DTP, the owner of the building. UD will lease space in the building.

Discover Bank is currently exploring ways to partner with UD on research related to the financial technology needs of the bank that may include cyber-related technologies, and consumer data analytics, applications and behaviors. A national nonprofit focused on improving the financial health of communities, has partnered with Discover Bank to work with UD, DTP, entrepreneurs and the community on the utilization and testing of financial technologies to improve consumer financial health.

“Discover Bank is dedicated to building stronger communities, which is why we’ve championed this project with the Delaware Technology Park and the University of Delaware to expand economic opportunities, create jobs in financial services and FinTech, and promote financial health for underserved populations,” said Discover Bank President James J. Roszkowski. “The development at STAR helps us realize our vision of creating brighter financial futures for consumers as well as creating new opportunities for the business community.”

The building, which is scheduled for a 2021 opening, will mark the first sizable presence of Lerner College on the STAR Campus.

“This project will create an excellent opportunity for UD students to explore new frontiers in data-related disciplines including computer and information sciences, computer engineering and financial analytics,” UD Provost Robin Morgan said. “With a focus on setting up our students for success, the UD community will have access to new space for academic growth and the pursuit of employment opportunities in the continuously expanding FinTech industry here in Delaware.”

Potential plans and programs include a cybersecurity leadership center that would link Lerner’s cybersecurity management with the College of Engineering’s cybersecurity engineering and technology, a space for human-machine learning and social media data analysis and a multi-media studio.

Kurt Foreman


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Delaware’s Fintech Boom is Already Here

Delaware’s Fintech Boom is Already Here

25 JUNE, 2019 

If you’re still waiting for fintech to explode in Delaware, you may be looking at it in terms too narrow.

“It already has,” says John Taylor, director of economic research for the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, who recently completed an in-depth report on fintech in Delaware along with First State Fintech Lab and University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration.

The view that fintech has yet to truly materialize in Delaware is fueled by a definition that hyper-focuses on the startup sector and disregards established financial institutions as not real tech companies.

As we’ve written over the past few years, companies such as JPMorgan Chase and Capital One are tech companies. Once you factor in the evolution of banks — and their large pool of Delaware tech jobs — the Wilmington fintech boom materializes.

(Fun fact: Delaware accounted for 75% of all fintech investment in the Philadelphia region in 2018.)

“We think taking the broad view makes a lot of sense here, particularly from a workforce angle,” said Taylor in an interview with Technical.ly. “A major reason early stage fintech companies are so interested in Delaware is because of our strength in the broader financial services space — they know they can hire folks with talent on the financial services side, the credit risk analysis side and tech talent.”

While several digital-born fintech companies such as PaypalAcorns and SoFi have bases in Delaware, and homegrown fintech startups like Fair Square Financial and Marlette Funding continue to grow, they’re only half of the picture.

“Just focusing on the startup side of things really misses a big piece of what fintech has become,” said Taylor. “Particularly if you look at the increasing synergy between startups and established firms. We’re seeing more acquisitions in this space, as some of those larger firms look to grow their services.”

How much impact does fintech have in Delaware?

“Right now, we have the most jobs we’ve ever had in Delaware, about 465,000 jobs in the state; unemployment is 3.2%; and financial services is really a significant driver of our economy: We’ve got nearly 48,000 jobs, up from about 41,000 at the bottom of the recession,” said Taylor. “We’ve seen some pretty significant growth, and fintech accounts for about 9% of employment in the state, the highest share of any state in the country — about double the national average.

“And these jobs are at firms of all shapes and sizes,” he said. “One of the rules of our report was to help bring in some clarity and shared understanding to what that means and some of the trends.”

Delaware is #1 in patents issued in the United States. (Screenshot via Delaware Prosperity Partnership report)

And it’s not just jobs: “We’re not just an employment, hub, but really a hub for innovation,” Taylor said.

“One thing I found particularly interesting was that when we looked at some data over the last decade in fintech-related patenting activity, we found almost 200 over that time, which ranked Delaware first nationally on a per capita basis,” he said. “That accounts for where these companies and individuals are based, not necessarily where the patent is created. And even if we look at that, we still rank second.”

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M&T Commits to Tech Jobs, Other Roles in Delaware

M&T commits to tech jobs, other roles in Delaware


M&T Bank and its Wilmington Trust subsidiary will hire hundreds of tech talent over the next few years, including 50 new “technologists” over the next nine months and reinforce its commitment to downtown Wilmington by housing them in a space that will embed technology teams with the people driving the growth of the bank’s business.

In addition, the bank hopes to fill more than 100 open positions in 2019 throughout the state — nearly half in Sussex County — as it continues to grow through all lines of business. It will also be establishing a technology development program at the University of Delaware and University of Maryland for professional positions and internships as well as filling jobs through partnerships with organizations like Zip Code Wilmington, which offers a 12-week coding boot camp with job placement assistance upon completion of the program.

The bank has quietly consolidated 130 employees over the past few months on two floors of the 10-story Wilmington Plaza building at 301 W. 11th St.

We need to be less dependent on outsourcing,” said M&T Chief Information Officer Mike Wisler. “Buying other people’s products mutes your ability to compete and create differentiated experiences.”

Wisler said M&T plans to add 1,000 technologists — software engineers and designers, UI/UX and web developers, database and cybersecurity experts, and technical team leads — over the next five years to its two primary technology centers in the company’s hometown of Buffalo, New York and in Wilmington, with Wilmington expected to get about 200 of those jobs.

The Wilmington Plaza building offers “puts everyone together, creating collisions that will allow us to operate at the speed of our competition,” Wisler said. “The physical environment plays a big role in our efforts to be transformational and agile. We’re trying to create a community [feeling] and align various initiatives with the bank’s mission, purpose, and vision.”

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki praised the decision to locate the new jobs downtown as proof that “M&T believes in the city. It’s important because people look to the future to make financial decisions so when people make decisions like this to invest in the city, it’s great for confidence.”

Purzycki said he likes the idea of more people walking along Market Street shopping and experiencing the “grit, humanity and personality” of the city.

“Generally speaking, people love to be in cities. As long as you don’t scare them away for the wrong reasons, announcements like this demonstrate we can overcome” structural issues like parking and the wage tax, he said. “I want employers to tell their people that Wilmington is a great place to be. The more people who live here, the more things change.”

M&T Delaware Region President Nick Lambrow says the bank is moving toward an “integrated model with lots of initiatives that provide us with different ways to look at and serve our client base.”

M&T retained the Wilmington Trust brand for its wealth and institutional business after acquiring the bank in
2011. Wilmington Trust now employs about 2,000 people in 54 locations with a little more than half in Delaware, according to Executive Vice President Bill Farrell, who oversees the Wealth and Institutional Services Division.

“We’ve developed new products and grown market share across our businesses,” Farrell said, noting as an example that Wilmington Trust’s structured finance (securitization) business has increased its market share over the past five years from 1.3 percent to 16.9 percent to become the third-largest in that market niche.

“Adding these technologists to our team alongside our product managers will enable us to continue developing products like Wilmington Trust FastTrack, which makes it easier for our Merger and Acquisition Escrow business to get people paid more efficiently and WT Connect, which created a new front end for investors to self-serve in the structured-product area,” Farrell said.

“We take pride in operating much like a fintech in accelerating our speed to market,” Lambrow said. “We realize that our competition is no longer just large banks, and we’re of a size where we can act or react like a fintech.”

It’s generally accepted that there is an industrywide shortage of tech jobs, giving rise to organizations like Zip Code Wilmington and Year Up.

“It’s the scarcest resource on the planet with lots of competition. But we feel that our story is an advantage.
One big differentiator for M&T and Wilmington trust is that its size allows employees on both the tech and operations side to have an impact on our business. That may not be the case at a larger institution.

“University programs are not producing the talent we need so we have to create other pipelines while still making a meaningful investment in local universities,” Wisler said, adding that there is a growing opportunity to attract experienced professionals from the traditional big-city tech hot spots. “We are focusing on professional recruiting and relocation as we find lots of people from this area who would like to return.”

“It’s never been more important to create a sense of belonging and inclusion,” Lambrow said. “We still think of ourselves as a community bank and we’re committed to our branch system. But we must provide alternative ways to connect with our customers” who don’t need to come into the branch.

This article was originally posted on the Delaware Business Times at: https://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com/mt-commits-to-tech-jobs-other-roles-in-delaware

Kurt Foreman


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