WILMINGTON – The multinational bank Barclays announced Tuesday that it will hire hundreds of new employees at its Riverfront headquarters, where it recently invested $83 million to buy its offices after leasing for 13 years.
Gov. John Carney, Mayor Mike Purzycki, and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer joined Barclays U.S. Consumer Bank CEO Denny Nealon in celebrating the significant commitment in the city during a Tuesday morning ceremony at the 129 S. West St. offices. The building acquisition, as first reported last month by the Delaware Business Times, was one of the biggest property sales in Delaware in many years, emphasizing the financial commitment that Barclays is making.
It caps a remarkable about-face less than three years after the bank moved 500 jobs from Wilmington to New Jersey, and positions Wilmington as Barclays longtime central U.S. hub while ensuring a large anchor for the Riverfront community.
Barclays will hire more than 300 people in Wilmington as part of a hiring push of 1,000 nationwide, officials said Tuesday. Nealon told DBT that those roles would include marketing, finance, credit, analytics and operations, among others.
Those jobs are in addition to the nearly 325 call center jobs that Barclays announced in June as part of a state-supported investment in Wilmington as well.
Nealon said that he’s confident Barclays can find hundreds of talented professionals in the greater Wilmington area, citing the strong history of financial services in Delaware – he first came to First USA Bank in Wilmington 17 years ago. Barclays has also donated to workforce development programs in the city that could help build that pipeline.
Housing all of those new employees is a high-end remodel of the offices, started two years ago and still ongoing after finishing two of the five floors. Embracing the post-pandemic workplace change of hybrid schedules, Barclays has instituted shared workstations and communal meeting areas in the new design.
“What we’ve heard from people really loud and clear and consistently is that they want flexibility. They want the ability to work from home, and there are so many things that we can do from home just as easily and as well as we can in the office,” Nealon said.
While some city office employers, including competitor Capital One, have moved to make some workers remote-only, Nealon said that Barclays has not taken that step but considers employee requests on a case-by-case basis.
“I think that we still believe that, for the majority of our roles, having them be grounded in in-person experiences helps us create a differentiated culture, where we can deliver better outcomes, and be more creative and more innovative for our customers and partners,” he said, explaining how the bank would try to schedule fully in-person meetings for small teams to collaborate.
The growth at Barclays comes due to the bank’s recent success in signing and resigning partnership deals, Nealon said, pointing to the Gap credit card program, which has 11 million customers worth more than $4 billion, as well as programs with AARP and airline JetBlue. The bank anticipates doubling the number of customers it serves every day by the end of 2022.
Barclays has been able to grow quickly in the United States from its United Kingdom home, in part, because it isn’t competing in the same way as competitors like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, Nealon said.
“We’re not going to spend billions of dollars in brand advertising to try to compete,” he explained. “Our whole model is geared around how we can set up processes so that we can be a seamless extension of our partners’ brands, and in doing so help drive loyalty and engagement.”
As part of its local commitment, Barclays also donated $1 million to Delaware State University in support of its year-old Global Institute for Equity, Inclusion, and Civil Rights. The donation will support the growth of the institute developed following the social unrest last year surrounding the murder of George Floyd, and, in particular, its Center for Neighborhood Revitalization Research and Center for Global Africa, said Tony Allen, president of DSU.
The historically Black university also recently opened a nearby Riverfront campus and Allen said that he planned to work with Nealon to develop a collaboration.
Barclays has developed a strong reputation in its local philanthropy, particularly in the city of Wilmington, donating millions each year to a variety of causes. In the last year, the bank has donated more than $2 million to causes like Tech Impact, Delaware Technical Community College, the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, the YMCA of Delaware, and more.
Nealon said that he was especially proud of that work, which often coalesces around the idea of workforce development.
“Barclays is a company that puts its money where its mouth is in terms of these kinds of things. We take the idea of being a force for good in communities where we live and work more seriously than any company I’ve ever been exposed to,” Nealon said, noting that the bank encourages smaller charitable efforts by employees every month as well.
“It’s also smart business, because I think that the people that we want to attract could easily choose another bank to work at. We want to give them a reason to believe that not only are you going to have a great career here and all the opportunities you could ever have, but you’re working for a company that cares – you’re going to do things that matter.”
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