The Bank of Montreal is establishing a tech hub in Irving to help it gain a firmer foothold in the US
“As we move further away from Canada, we have to spend more time building the brand,” said Sidney Deloatch, chief information and operations officer of commercial banking at BMO.
The Montreal-based company, which has its US headquarters in Chicago, thinks it will soon have more branches in the US than in Canada.
BMO, which has been around for over 200 years and has about $820 billion in assets, hired consulting firm EY to scout out the best city in the US to anchor its tech force. EY landed on North Texas, which beat out other top picks like Charlotte and Atlanta, Deloatch said.
“The drivers behind Dallas were that it’s the fastest growing tech hub in the US, it will soon be the third largest city in the US and we already have a big presence in Dallas that many people don’t know about,” he said.
The full-service bank has about 280 employees in Dallas-Fort Worth split between Irving, where its transportation finance team is headquartered; Fort Worth, where it has a wealth office; and downtown Dallas, where it has a commercial sales group. About 100 of its D-FW employees are in tech and operations.
For its tech hub, the company plans to kick it off by hiring for about 50 tech and operations positions. The company said salaries would vary as there will be junior and senior positions available. The workers will be housed in BMO’s existing Irving office building since three of its six floors aren’t being used, Deloatch said.
BMO hosted a recruiting event Thursday, for which about 60 were invited and about 50 showed up, Deloatch said. The company plans to host a similar event in the next few months.
“We feel very strongly that we can keep up with the competition here in terms of compensation and benefits,” he said. “We also feel strongly about what we can offer socially and culturally.”
The new tech hub follows a similar announcement from Pittsburgh-based PNC, which said in April that it’s establishing a tech hub in Farmers Branch for 200 workers.
BMO, which boasts that it hasn’t missed a dividend since 1829, has about 50,000 employees worldwide, with about 9,000 in tech and operations, Deloatch said.
In December, BMO announced that it was acquiring San Francisco-based Bank of the West, which has about $105 billion in assets and more than 500 branches and offices in 24 states — mostly in the Western and Midwestern US.
After the acquisition is completed, something that’s expected to happen in the last three months of the year, BMO will significantly increase its US presence, Deloatch said.
“BMO will have more branches for consumers in the US than in its home country,” he said.