News release

Rethinking the innovation hub model for financial services firms

Tailored workplace and real estate strategies will help strengthen the industry that is being transformed by technology

April 09, 2024

Ryan Beyler

Work Dynamics/Office and PDS PR
+1 312 702 4312

CHICAGO, April 9, 2023 – The banking and financial services industry is in a state of constant evolution where value is placed on the urgency to adapt and execute on strategic priorities. Since 2020, financial services organizations have shifted investment priorities and digital transformation initiatives, and their workplace strategies and commercial real estate (CRE) portfolios play an integral role in this advancement. The next phase of this evolution is for financial services organizations to look to the Future of Innovation Hubs – locations that centralize talent, feature top-tier design and are infused with cutting-edge technology.

Digitization and new technologies, particularly the advent of generative artificial intelligence (AI), are impacting the industry’s labor market and in turn, are key catalysts for innovation hub transformations in the financial services industry.

“There are numerous benefits to reimagining the innovation hub model for the financial services industry,” said Bobby Magnano, President, Financial Services, JLL. “The model is becoming instrumental in driving organizational growth and adaptation, enabling institutions to pilot their transformative projects going forward.”

Uniting people, expertise and resources in the right location

As the financial services industry embraces innovation, organizations are using their real estate strategies to capture the right talent in the age of AI. Financial services organizations that build strong ecosystem relationships, including university, technology and consultancy partnerships, to help source and develop new ideas and talent are positioned to benefit most.

By creating a dedicated and strategic hub that is designed to attract top talent and promote cross-functional collaboration, organizations can maximize efficiency and foster synergies among different teams.

“Location strategies should be a continuous conversation between CRE leads, business units and HR to ensure alignment with workforce plans,” said Giles Wrench, Vice-Chairman, Financial Services and Insurance, JLL.

Projections indicate that new technologies like AI will impact approximately 26% of current financial services roles over the next four years. To navigate these changes effectively, organizations will need to attract new talent and prioritize upskilling their existing workforce to equip them with the necessary skills and competencies to thrive. Uniting people and expertise to bridge the gap between traditional and emerging technology-related roles will be crucial to ensure a smooth transition and maintain workforce productivity and efficiency.

As technology skills grow in importance, cities like New York, Charlotte and Chicago lead in the number of job postings for innovation-based roles. In the shift to more office-centric workplaces, companies are establishing innovation hubs near the available talent, with New York, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Charlotte and Philadelphia metro areas experiencing the greatest demand.

“Leading financial services firms are prioritizing skills-based hiring to drive their transformation initiatives,” added Sarah Bouzarouata, Financial Services Research Lead, Americas, JLL. “Markets with strong infrastructure and a diverse, talented workforce are benefitting from this demand and witnessing a significant increase in job opportunities within the industry.”

Designing spaces that embody the brand and support sustainability

Assessing, managing and reducing climate-related risks have become top priorities for financial services firms, becoming an integral part of their brand and mission. The industry is operating within an urgent and evolving regulatory landscape as it moves toward achieving net-zero emissions.

The financial services sector is anticipated to see a substantial increase in the demand for high-quality green spaces, surpassing the needs of all other industries. Globally, the industry is expected to have over 67.1 million square feet of space requirements for high-quality green space through 2030; however, the supply of these sustainable buildings is limited, and JLL Research projects the global demand for premium green space may outstrip supply by approximately 70% by 2030.

“Reassessing portfolio strategies, particularly in markets with significant carbon impact, is crucial to ensure long-term resiliency,” Wrench said. “Committing to a sustainable future requires decisive actions now to secure sustainable and high-quality spaces. Integrating sustainable technologies, addressing supply imbalances and partnering with sustainability experts will lay the foundation for long-term resiliency and a positive environmental impact.”

Bringing people together with cutting-edge technologies

The financial services industry is undergoing a shift from designing “intelligent buildings” to “intuitive buildings” that adapt and learn from user preferences by dynamically adjusting factors like temperature, lighting and more to enhance comfort and productivity. Additionally, the digital environment plays a crucial role in shaping the employee experience, which is not limited to what happens within the building; whether an employee is working from home, at a client site or a third place, companies need to create an ecosystem where the digital and physical journey is connected.

This will require a proactive approach to drive technology-led real estate management. JLL’s Global Technology Survey found that 83% of financial services occupiers are set to increase their real estate tech budgets over the next three years, surpassing investments in headcount, footprint and operating budgets.

“Leading banking and financial services companies acknowledge that real estate technology serves as more than just a cost center; it is a vital differentiator that is critical to achieving broader business objectives,” Magnano added.

In today’s ever-evolving financial services industry, the need for adaptation and strategic execution is crucial. By centralizing talent and resources in state-of-the-art locations infused with cutting-edge technology, the innovation hub model serves as a catalyst to the industry’s transformation.

In an industry that is rapidly transforming, JLL Financial Services offers the right alchemy of integrated technology, sustainability strategies and a forward-thinking approach to our banking, insurance, investment management and fintech clients. Whether clients are looking for us to optimize their real estate portfolios or manage their retail banking facilities, we serve as a trusted partner by developing real estate and advisory solutions to help accelerate growth while balancing risk. Armed with unmatched industry-focused intelligence and a dedicated understanding of the complexities of this highly regulated business, our experts deliver a consultative approach to clients with a spectrum of services and products throughout all stages of their real estate lifecycle.

Our ethos towards hiring and training top talent and providing a seamless value-driven client experience has positioned JLL as a domestic and global market leader within the financial services commercial real estate business. Visit to learn more.

For more news, videos and research resources, please visit JLL’s newsroom.

About JLL

For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.8 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 106,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit