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BBVA opens an office in San Francisco to tap Silicon Valley’s latest technology trends
BBVA said Friday it has opened an office in San Francisco, a strategic move that will give the global bank greater access to Silicon Valley. The office, which will put the bank in close proximity to companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple, will allow BBVA to identify the latest technology trends and develop strategic partners. An international leader in innovation, BBVA also expects to tap valuable synergies with Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley as it looks to build its business model around multi-channel relationships with clients.
BBVA also has a California presence in BBVA Compass, its U.S. operations offering commercial and retail banking and wealth management across the Sunbelt.
BBVA’s San Francisco office, which opened in August, is in the city’s SOMA district next to companies like Zynga and Foursquare. In addition to positioning itelf as a reference for companies that are developing new technologies for banking and finance, and looking to build partnerships with large technology companies, BBVA also may look to invest in start-up companies. BBVA believes these initiatives will enable the bank to apply the latest trends in the banking business in an effective way and improve customer experience and service.
The San Francisco office is run by Jay Reinemann, former director of VISA´s Venture Group. It falls under a a new area of the bank, New Models Strategy and M&A, which is part of the Strategic and Corporate Development division headed up by Carlos Torres. Mr. Torres is charged with developing new business models based on innovation and technology, as well as forming the necessary alliances and M&A operations to grow this effort. The San Francisco team is working with a team in Madrid, headed by Ricardo Forcano, whose role is to coordinate innovation teams across BBVA’s international footprint.
The opening of the San Francisco office comes at a time of considerable innovation and technology in the financial sector, much of which has involved BBVA. The bank has a strategic alliance with Smarty Pig, a social savings platform in the U.S. while in Spain, BBVA recently launched Friends and Family, a website that raises money for particular causes via social networks. In Turkey, BBVA, through Garanti, is part of the pioneering NFC system to develop payment via mobile phones.
BBVA also boasts new mobile phone platform applications, iPhone and Android, now being launched in Spain.