Today Financial services firm Edward Jones announced a multi-year partnership with SixThirty, a St. Louis-based venture fund that invests in financial technology (FinTech) startup companies. Backed by the St. Louis Regional Chamber, SixThirty was founded in 2013 and to date has funded more than 25 startups across the globe.Edward Jones Chief Information Officer Vinny Ferrari said the relationship with SixThirty is consistent with the firm's drive to provide investors an ideal client experience.
"At Edward Jones, we view technology as a way to enhance the relationship with our clients by making their experience outside our branch offices just as emotive and productive as it is when they visit a financial advisor for a face-to-face meeting in a branch," said Ferrari. "Our relationship with SixThirty gives us an opportunity to look outside the firm for the best ideas in financial technology to help us achieve our goals."
SixThirty invests in eight to 10 FinTech start-ups each year from a globally diverse pool of more than 325 companies that seek investment. As part of the investment, the start-ups participate in the business development program focusing on mentorship and networking opportunities with some of the leading financial services institutions in the region and across the country.
As part of the partnership with SixThirty, Frank LaQuinta, a general partner with Edward Jones, has joined the organization's Investment Committee which evaluates the investment pipeline and selects FinTech startups that SixThirty invests in.
Atul Kamra, SixThirty's managing partner, noted St. Louis has established itself as one of the fastest growing startup cities in the US, thanks in part to corporate partners who recognize the potential to attract entrepreneurs to the city. When that happens, he said, the local talent pool is strengthened, jobs are created, innovation blossoms and economic growth accelerates.
"SixThirty is building on what makes us (our region) unique: the breadth and depth of our financial services, and a culture that notices and nurtures founders," Kamra added. "Edward Jones is a leader in financial services and synonymous with nurturing talent, consistently being recognized as among the best places to work in the US. We look forward to working with them to attract and grow the most promising FinTech ideas and, in turn, sustain our competitiveness in an industry in which we have inherent strength."