Suburban giant Vanguard is opening an R&D office in the city - Technical.ly Philly

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Nov. 3, 2016 9:30 am

Suburban giant Vanguard is opening an R&D office in the city

The Malvern, Pa.-based financial services company is making a play for the Philly ecosystem. Expect some outreach to the startup community when the time is right, says a spokesperson.
Inside Vanguard HQ in Malvern.

Inside Vanguard HQ in Malvern.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

If we had reason to believe Philly’s fintech corridor was getting stronger, we just found some evidence that makes that case even stronger.

See, the Business Journal reports that the Malvern, Pa.-based financial services company Vanguard Group will be opening up shop in Philly by way of the Vanguard Innovation Center, a 20-person R&D facility slated to open by mid-2017, with space to grow.

According to a press release published Wednesday, the last time the company had presence in Philly proper was in 1999, when it closed a walk-in investment center in Center City. However, the company’s Philly roots run deeper, as history links it up to the Wellington Fund, which was started by Philly accountant Walter Morgan back in 1929.

Though an exact location has not been selected yet, PBJ reports that Philly beat out other locations like Silicon Valley. (In its report, the Inquirer says the office will be in University City.)

“We wanted to open an Innovation Center, away from the demands of the daily business, and while we considered other locations, ultimately Philly offers access to hundreds of academic institutions, including some of the best in the country, as well as a strong business, tech, and entrepreneur communities,” Vanguard spokeswoman Arianna Stefanoni Sherlock told Technical.ly in an email. “There’s the added benefit of proximity to our global HQ and transportation.”

With the new site likely up and running by Q2 2017, what will this mean for the local ecosystem? Can we expect there to be any backtalk with Microsoft’s Innovation Center Reactor, another Philly tech hub from a large corporation? How about the other fintech entities in Philly’s suburbs? Or smaller startups trying to get ahead in the game? Stefanoni Sherlock said yes, but all in due time.

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“I expect that outreach will start around that time as the center gets up and running — it’s still early days.”

Companies: Vanguard
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