Investor Spotlight: Fifth Third Bank

December 19, 2017

Fifth Third Bank is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Established in 1858, the company has $130 billion in assets and operates 17 affiliates with more than 1,300 full-service banking centers and more than 2,600 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Investment Advisors. The Tampa Bay affiliate operates 48 banking centers throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Polk counties.

Jim Weiss is Tampa City President for Fifth Third Bank. He manages the commercial division of the bank, comprised of the middle market, government and institutional, health care, commercial real estate, and treasury management departments in Tampa Bay. Weiss has over 25 years of commercial banking experience. He earned a bachelor’s in mathematics from Saint Louis University and received his certification in Economic Development from Saint Louis University. In addition to being a member of Tampa Hillsborough EDC’s Circle of Champions, he currently serves on the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Tampa Downtown Partnership Board of Directors, and the National Lender’s Advisory Council for the National Association of Economic Development Companies (NADCO).

1. Tampa and Hillsborough County continue to rise as a top business destination for relocations and expansions. When you are traveling or visiting other markets, what do you tell the people you meet about our community?
Tampa is an amazing blend of old and new that makes it a vibrant, world-class city. There is a lot of Florida history and culture that has been preserved and is reflected in modern-day traditions and celebrations in the county. The new is embodied in the growth of the business community and how we embrace new companies and residents and offer an extremely welcoming environment for everyone.

Hillsborough County is also very diverse. We have a very large, active military and veteran population due to MacDill Air Force Base’s presence here. This diversity provides excellent opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas, talent, and cultural exchanges in the community and within the workforce.

2. How does your company impact the business culture of Tampa and Hillsborough County?
Fifth Third Bank is an active participant in the local business community. With Tampa as our regional corporate office for the state of Florida, we are vested, and have invested, significantly in this market. From senior leadership engagement in major business organizations and serving on nonprofits’ boards and committees to supporting our employees in their community engagement with organizations, networking, and volunteering, Fifth Third is here to help with the successful growth of this market’s economy and future.

3. Talent recruitment has become a huge strategic initiative of the EDC over the past few years. How are you selling out-of-state talent on Tampa and Hillsborough County? Why is local talent inclined to stay here?
Recruiting people to Tampa has been a fairly easy sell. Candidates find the area’s growth opportunities, our great quality of life, mild winters, and beautiful bay and beaches very attractive. This market is positioned very well as a critical piece of the company’s overall growth plan. We’ve had very good success here, and the future continues to be bright for Fifth Third in Tampa.

4. Where do you derive the most benefit for yourself and your company as an EDC Investor?
Relationships! In both cases, it is critically important to build strong relationships in our business community. For me, as a leader of this city and our commercial business, the relationships I have made through the EDC will allow me to have valuable insight into the issues, opportunities, and challenges here, and how I can contribute at the highest levels. Our company’s success is built on the relationships we’ve established in every aspect of the bank’s business, and serve  as a conduit for sharing the many ways Fifth Third Bank supports our customers and our communities.

5. The EDC offers a variety of services to the local business community, as well as businesses looking to relocate or expand their operations into Hillsborough County. In your opinion, what is the most valuable service provided by the EDC?
The greatest value the EDC brings to me and Fifth Third Bank is connectivity, which comes in many forms and through the many services the organization provides. More importantly, it is knowing that the EDC team is right there when you need them. I can rely on them when I need to find an answer to a question, identify resources, pull data and research, get a business referral, or access specific business programs.