By Jon Delano

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It may be one of America’s oldest banks, founded in Pittsburgh in 1869, but BNY Mellon wants you to forget the old, stodgy image of a bank.

“Some of those old interpretations of us as a company were certainly that way many years ago,” says David Silvester, who started his banking career at Mellon and then left the company. “I came back about four years ago to an environment that was dramatically changed.”

Changed indeed!

Like a bocce court for employees on the ninth floor of the bank’s signature building on Grant Street.

It’s all part of the bank’s Innovation Center.

“At BNY Mellon, we have nine innovation centers, and for us, it’s really about being a catalyst for change,” says Jennifer Wagner.

Wagner heads up the bank’s innovation centers, and she says employees are free at any time to break from more traditional work space.

“To offset that, we provide break out space like ping pong and bocce and picnic tables and a farm table in our kitchen. Lots of different ways for people to engage with one another to get their work done,” says Wagner.

Twenty-three year old Marco Campana spends most of his time working at a picnic table.

“It’s the best. I couldn’t imagine working in a cube. I’m spoiled,” says Campana.

Ping pong at a 200 year old bank like BNY Mellon may seem a little weird, but the bank has a strategy.

It’s to attract quality young people — technologists — to Pittsburgh and to keep them here.

“Pittsburgh is getting known as a technology city pretty rapidly,” notes Campana.

Pittsburgh’s growing reputation as a technology center is part of the attraction, but so is the cheaper cost of living.

“If people come to BNY Mellon in Pittsburgh, they are likely to have a higher lifestyle, a richer lifestyle, than if they lived in New York or London or Singapore because the cost of living is so nice here,” adds Wagner. “It makes it a really attractive market for us.”

For Pittsburgh to grow its high tech reputation and for local companies to attract young smart employees, even old companies like BNY Mellon are changing fast.

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