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As Financial Processes Go Digital, Detroit Looks To Siphon Talent From New York, Chicago

As Financial Processes Go Digital, Detroit Looks To Siphon Talent From New York, Chicago

New York and Chicago have long been Meccas for aspiring financial leaders. Centered around their stock and option exchanges, the cities' capital markets lured fresh talent looking to make a name in the financial sector.

But Jason Raznick, CEO of Benzinga, says the power of that appeal has diminished.

“Since trading has shifted from having to go to a physical exchange to more of a digital environment, you don’t need to be in those locations anymore,” Raznick said.

He’s talking about fintech, which has leveled the playing field for non-New Yorks to flourish in financial services. Inspired by emerging tech trends, Raznick and Benzinga are taking stakes in Michigan’s future by spearheading the new Detroit Fintech Association.

What’s The DFA?

The DFA intends to grow an existing local fintech scene anchored by Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans and augmented by the likes of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ: HBAN), Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Ally Financial Inc (NYSE: ALLY) and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), each of which will participate in the association.

“We have so much financial technology here, but we want to make this ecosystem way stronger,” Raznick said.

The nonprofit trade organization will enhance the community’s exposure, connect startups with national leaders and mentors, support talent recruitment and magnify the Detroit voice in U.S. regulatory discussions. The DFA also aims to improve financial literacy in the city through work with Detroit high schools and higher education institutions.

Partnerships with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services will help create an increasingly attractive environment for potential fintech recruits and provide entrepreneur counseling on relevant laws and regulations.

“By partnering with organizations that are building a fintech ecosystem in Michigan, we can help foster innovation and turn ideas into reality that will benefit the financial services industry for years to come,” Patrick McPharlin, director of the DIFS, told Benzinga.

The DFA has been having informal meetups for the last eight months and has amassed a membership of more than 300 members. In late October, the DFA will host a more formal meeting to kickoff to officialize its presence in the city.

What Else Fintech?

Benzinga’s work on the fintech scene extends far beyond the DFA. The financial information firm will host its fourth annual Fintech Awards in 2018 and its first Fintech Summit later this month.

Raznick hopes these small efforts pay off for his local community.

“When people look for a place to go after college, if they’re interested in changing how investing works, they will consider coming to Michigan.”

Related Links:

After Mortgage Crisis, Flagstar Bank CEO Leads A Diversifying Lender

Affirm: The San Francisco Startup Using Fintech To Simplify Lending

Posted-In: Dan Gilbert Detroit Fintech Association Jason RaznickFintech Movers & Shakers Startups Small Business General Best of Benzinga


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