Name: Matthew Choiniere
Company: Bank of America (BAC)
Social Platform: linkedin.com/in/matthewchoiniere
Background/Education: Sacred Heart University, Finance & Economics – Welch Scholar
- I joined BAC about a year ago and I’m currently responsible for Financial Center Innovation Strategy. This primarily entails managing our innovation portfolio, Financial Center of the Future initiatives, and other strategic partnerships.
- Prior to joining the bank, I worked for FIS Global where our team started the company’s Innovation & Investment Office, responsible for FinTech start-up engagement and investment strategy. I started my career at GE Antares Capital in their Leveraged Finance business based in Chicago.
Connection to Carolina Fintech Hub (CFH): I am lucky to have been involved through the organization’s evolution from the Charlotte Fintech Initiative to the Carolina Fintech Hub. This transition in strategy and scope was integral to the immediate and continued success of CFH. The change in scope included the regional footprints of our Corporate and Educational Sponsors and Strategic Partners.
I currently serve as a member of the Operating Committee and Co-Lead of the Talent and Community Engagement workstream. Originally the Hackathon workstream, the team successfully hosted CFH’s first Hackathon on the campus of UNCC. We have expanded the scope of the workstream to focus on talent management, community outreach and the upward mobility challenges that face Charlotte and other communities around the Carolinas.
Main passion. What keeps you busy and what do you love about work and/or life?: Driving change. The main reason I joined Bank of America was for the opportunity to change the way we interacted with our customers in our physical spaces. BAC has made it clear that we are investing heavily in our financial center network and it’s exciting to be a part of the strategy that is driving that growth and digital transformation.
Outside of the office I have a passion for family, travel and golf. When they can all be a part of the same experience, even better!
Why Fintech? My passion for driving change is really at the root of why I chose the financial services/Fintech industry. Coming out of college, the Financial Crisis was FRESH. Not only was I extremely lucky to find an opportunity that coincided with my education, but also in an industry that needed desperate CHANGE.
I started my career in Leveraged Finance, underwriting private equity leveraged buyouts (LBOs). Getting to “pop the hood” of hundreds of companies across various industries gave me a great understanding of what can make or break a company, both old and new. While it wasn’t an easy decision, I jumped at an opportunity to work for Fintech leader, FIS Global, focusing on Innovation and Investment across the company. Our team, led by Tariq Bokhari (currently the Executive Director of CFH), drove enterprise product development and strategic partnerships with Fintech startups through capital investment, mentorship and accelerating their business development needs.
Innovation and change were at the core of these startup’s missions and business plans. It was exciting to help shape their path to success and now do the same for BAC.
Why the Carolina Region and what is next?: I’m a transplant. Born and raised in Rhode Island and spending time in the NYC and Chicago areas before moving to Charlotte. Charlotte itself has a unique financial services ecosystem that creates a mature customer base for Fintech startups. As Fintech really started bursting onto the scene – these startups were going to be disrupters. Now it’s starting to become all about partnership. The big banks are partnering with these startups to drive the financial services industry into the future and create user-centric change.
While Charlotte has a large presence of big banks, these partnerships expand much further into our surrounding Carolina communities with technology companies, universities, and other accelerator programs. Creating opportunity for company and leadership mentoring and building a pipeline of talent for banks and Fintechs to recruit from.
What Advice do you have for others interested in Fintech?
- Stay current. Fintech and the regulations shaping the industry are constantly evolving and in order to help drive the change necessary to be successful, we need to be engaged in all the details.
- Think outside the box. Fintech isn’t about incremental change; it’s about disrupting the norm through collaboration and co-development.