M&T Bank branches out to bridge skills gap

With apprenticeships, boot camps, college courses, and internships, CIO Mike Wisler is ramping up in-house developer staffing as part of a strategy for which diversity is key.

M&T Bank branches out to bridge skills gap
M&T Bank

The way M&T Bank CIO Mike Wisler sees it, a couple dozen cities in the US are in a race to lure the country’s top tech talent — and it’s a race in which he thinks the bank’s home of Buffalo, New York, will do well.

And it needs to: M&T is in the process of hiring 1,000 new software developers. While this is a challenge, it’s also a massive opportunity, says Wisler, to ensure that the developer team reflects the diversity of the communities that M&T serves.

Wisler joined M&T in May 2018 after 18 years at Capital One, an organization he jokingly describes as a highly analytical, software-driven marketing company masquerading as a bank. With Capital One, he’d been travelling about 300 days a year, bouncing between San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, and New York, and while he enjoyed the job, was yearning for something different.

“I was in search of a mission that wasn’t in one of these dense urban centers,” he says.

M&T was entering a period of change. It had a new CEO in René Jones, one of a handful of Black CEOs in the Fortune 500, and was on a mission to modernize while remaining close to the communities on which it had built its success. The bank has branches across the northeastern US, with concentrations in Washington, DC, Wilmington, Del., and its home turf, western New York state.

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