Financial Services

As financial services organizations grow and expand their operations in Northeast Florida, the region has seen significant growth in jobs and capital investment to grow this already well-established industry. Nearly 62,000 employees work in Jacksonville’s finance industry, making it one of the largest segments of the region’s economy.

Industry Report

FinTech Industry Report

Industry Overview

Industry Deep Dive

The Jacksonville area is also a critical part of the fintech ecosystem, one of the fastest-growing areas within financial services. With two state colleges in the region awarded $3.6 million in grant funding for the Northeast Florida Fintech Initiative, the talent that Jacksonville plans to produce will strengthen the industry. The grant fosters the development of curriculum, employment and business recruitment programs to be powered a business and industry leadership team (BILT) of fintech companies that will help identify the skills, competencies and credentials that employees need to excel in these jobs.

If you are interested in a career in finance, please take a look at its Career Pathway and also explore some of our resources that can help you understand the next step in your career. Jacksonville needs more financial services professionals and a career in this field can lead to an exciting and lucrative career.

Possible Career Paths
  • Financial Service Support
  • Back Office
  • Investment Banking
  • Front Office
  • Fintech
  • Financial Security Software

Popular Job Titles
  • Finance Manager
  • Underwriting Manager
  • Finance Analyst
  • Financial Associate
  • Investment Specialist
  • Credit Analyst
  • Operations Finance Manager
  • Employee Compliance Analyst
  • Finance Control Specialist
  • Financial Advisor
  • Financial Representative
  • Claims Specialist
  • Mortgage Loan Officer
  • Wealth Management Advisor

I had an interest in STEM but wasn't sure which career pathway I wanted to pursue.

Kendall RileyBusiness Analyst, Citi

The financial services industry is evolving and there are many opportunities if you have the drive to learn.

Lindsey ThomasDigital Experience Program Analyst, VyStar Credit Union

The VyStar Academy of Business provided me the opportunity to gain work experience that I couldn’t learn in a classroom.

Gabrielle BokretsionSenior Business Process Analyst, VyStar Credit Union

Use experiences to stretch and expand your skill set, as it will open other doors. Take opportunities to expand your network with professors and industry professionals.

Shannon ColesSenior Vice President Business Management, TIAA Bank

It goes beyond chasing the dollar.

Kenneth McAllisiterDirector of Business Services, JAX Federal Credit Union

With the training and experience I have gained through school and internships, I feel very confident in my skills and abilities and look forward to future opportunities throughout my career.

Sean O’NeillIntern, Citibank and Deutsche Bank

I knew I wanted a career path to help others. As a loan processor, it is rewarding to help others achieve their goals.

Elmin SacicSenior Mortgage Loan Processor, Citi

Chris Kalin

Regional President, PNC Bank in North Florida

Jacksonville native Chris Kalin exemplifies the formula for success. With more than 16 years of experience in the financial services industry, he understands that success is a result of a strong work ethic, a drive to succeed, and being ready for and open to career opportunities that come your way.

“You can see where your future can take you if you put in the effort,” Kalin said.

Kalin is the regional president of PNC Bank in North Florida – an area that includes Jacksonville, Daytona, Gainesville, and Tallahassee. His extensive banking experience includes a variety of middle market and corporate banking roles, with responsibilities that included credit analysis, commercial strategy, portfolio management, relationship management, and market expansion.

He didn’t always aspire to become a banker. As a teen, he had an interest in pursuing a degree in criminal justice after watching several crime drama television series. After taking a few classes, he discovered it wasn’t like what he had seen on TV. Fortunately, an advisor recognized his interest in numbers and math, and encouraged him to explore finance as a major. He is a graduate of Providence School and the University of North Florida with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in Finance.

Kalin began his banking career in Jacksonville at Wachovia, which is now Wells Fargo. He was recognized as a top talent and was quickly promoted to a leadership role in Los Angeles. Following a successful build out in Southern California, and recognizing his aptitude and pursuit of excellence, he was promoted to another leadership role in Chicago. While working in Illinois, he maximized his time and earned an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Another promotion brought him back to Jacksonville in 2014.

Kalin has been with PNC since 2017, where he originally helped lead the corporate banking efforts in North Florida. That success led him to be named the North Florida regional president in October 2022.

“I am fortunate to have a career that inspires me, and to work for an organization with incredibly talented individuals that I respect,” he said.

Kalin currently serves on the board of directors of the Museum of Science & History as well as the JAX Chamber. He serves on the Business Advisory Council at UNF where he also spends time mentoring students.

“When I speak with students, I assure them that you don’t have to have everything figured out when you graduate,” Kalin said. “Success will come if you work hard, are excited and engaged, and deliver everything that’s expected from you.”

As a mentor, this energetic leader encourages students to pursue lifelong learning by keeping a pulse on current events through reading reputable news media outlets and staying on top of industry trends in real time. He also recommends students focus on connecting and building relationships with others.

“Your network starts now,” Kalin said. “It’s important to maintain those connections. You never know when you may cross paths again.”

To achieve career success, he encourages students to be likeable, trustworthy, and a team player.

“People want to do business with people that they like and who honor their commitments,” Kalin said.

This JAXUSA partner has been recognized as a leader in the community as a recipient of the Jacksonville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award. He is also an alumnus of Leadership Jacksonville and Lifework Leadership.

He recommends individuals concentrate on their personal goals and achievements, rather than compare themselves to their peers.

“The only person you should be trying to beat is the person you were yesterday. If you focus on what you can control, be the best you can be, and surround yourself with other positive, like-minded individuals, career opportunities will find you,” Kalin said.

Kendall Riley

Business Analyst, Citi

While a student at Jacksonville’s Mandarin High School, Kendall Riley thought about her future career and initially had an interest in writing code for biomedical research. That changed when she discovered her enthusiasm for information technology by taking part in Citi’s “Women in IT” internship program.

“I had an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) but wasn’t sure which career pathway I wanted to pursue,” said Riley, a Business Analyst for Citi, Personal Banking & Wealth Management Technology (PBWMT). “This initiative has helped me grow my career in so many ways.”

Riley, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of North Florida in 2022, completed four Citi internships – two in high school and two at the college level – before transitioning into a full-time employee. Riley discovered working in technology at Citi has laid the foundation for an exciting career path.

“The program offers wonderful, valuable information about the working in the world of technology, which offers many different opportunities for career growth,” Riley said.

Citi’s “Women in IT” program was launched by employees from Citi’s Jacksonville division to inspire more high school and college women to consider careers in technology and in response to troubling statistics. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, since 1984, the percentage of female computer science graduates has dropped from 37% to 24%. While women make up more than half of the U.S. workforce, they hold just 25% of the jobs in technical or computing fields.

Michelle Carrico, Senior VP/Program Manager for Citi, PBWMT, has been involved with the “Women in IT” program since its inception. Program leaders were exploring innovative ways to identify, mentor, and hire talent while supporting the bank’s commitment to gender diversity. They wanted to invest in and develop a pipeline of female technology professionals.

“We have been working hard to address this talent gap and to encourage women to consider a wide range of roles in technology,” ” Carrico said. “Even though coding is important and foundational, there are many other roles in technology that don’t require you to work with code every day.”

In Citi’s “Women in IT” program, high school interns are introduced to technology skills, meet technology professionals and explore more about what it means to work in tech. The curriculum is designed to build confidence, inspire students to learn more and reduce the misconception that "IT is not for me."

Both high school and college-level interns are placed on a variety of technology teams, including project management, software development, data science, business analysis, design, architecture and more. Along with mentoring and networking opportunities, they develop a strong understanding of the industry and the skills that are in demand. The experience is designed to show students the career possibilities in technology and link their interest to various roles offered within the field.

“I am grateful for this program, which has helped me grow my career,” Riley said. “I got my first taste of professional networking and working with mentors.”

Now Riley is serving as a mentor to new Citi interns.

“Watching Kendall’s growth and professional development since she started the program has been phenomenal,” Carrico said. “Our interns have the opportunity to work on different teams and they are so well-rounded after they complete the program. When they transition into a full-time position, they bring all of that knowledge into their new role at Citi.”

Gabrielle Bokretsion and Lindsey Thomas

Vystar Credit Union Business High School Branch Program

VyStar Credit Union puts significant energy into its VyStar Academy of Business High School Branch Program. Company leaders started the program to bolster student financial literacy and have also enjoyed the opportunity to develop students both personally and professionally. This internship has not only contributed to building young professionals, but this has ultimately helped students decide on what career path they will pursue and have equipped them to be strong candidates with marketable skills fresh out of high school. Colleagues and Academy alumni Gabrielle Bokretsion and Lindsey Thomas launched their careers in the financial services industry as high school students nearly a decade ago.

“The Academy was such a positive experience,” said Thomas, a Digital Experience Program Analyst at VyStar Credit Union and 2012 Fleming Island High School graduate. “It offers an excellent opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience and interact with company executives. It allowed me to develop relationships that have helped shape my career.”

“The Academy provided me with the opportunity to gain work experience that I couldn’t learn in a classroom,” said Bokretsion, a Senior Business Process Analyst at VyStar Credit Union and 2013 Jean Ribault High School graduate who participated in the Academy the first year it was offered at Ribault.

The VyStar Academy of Business is an academic and internship program for high school students. Students participate in an engaging real world experience that brings their learning to life while focusing on the inner workings of financial services, growing technology and essentially what it takes to run their own business. The cornerstone of the academy is an operating VyStar branch run exclusively by students and available to everyone on the high school campus. With the exception of lending services, the 18 high school branches stretched across eight school districts have everything other VyStar branch locations have to offer.

Both Bokretsion and Thomas got their start at VyStar working as tellers at their high school branch locations. After high school, Thomas attended St. Johns River State College and also worked in the VyStar Contact Center. After one year, she transferred to Harding University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. She returned to VyStar in 2017 as a Senior High School Branch coordinator before receiving a promotion to her current position, which focuses on VyStar’s digital banking experience.

“The financial services industry is evolving and there are many opportunities if you have the drive to learn,” Thomas said.

Bokretsion attended the University of Florida before transferring to the University of North Florida. She returned to VyStar in 2015, working part-time as a Teller Specialist while she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduation, she joined VyStar full-time as a Marketing Specialist and advanced to Mergers & Acquisition Marketing Specialist before receiving a promotion to her current position.

“The opportunities for continued growth at VyStar are exciting,” Bokretsion said.

Although Bokretsion and Thomas did not graduate with financial services degrees, both are experiencing career advancement and success as a result of their initiative and employability skills.

“Our professional skills – communicating and problem solving – are critical and have helped both of us advance in our careers,” Thomas said.

For those considering applying to a VyStar Academy, Bokretsion offers this advice.

“It’s excellent work experience, even if you don’t pursue a career in this field,” Bokretsion said.