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Strategic Financial Solutions starts hiring, leases temporary space

Financial services company Strategic Financial Solutions has inked a deal for its first Buffalo office and started to hire its first employees, as it ramps up to begin operations locally in mid-August.

The New York City-based debt-relief company in June announced plans to bring up to 1,500 jobs to Western New York.

It said Monday that it signed a lease for temporary space in the South Tower of 40-50 Fountain Plaza, formerly the KeyBank Tower.

That space, on the 9th floor, is part of what is currently controlled by IBM Corp. as part of the state-funded high-tech economic development hub.

The firm plans to use that space until it can move into its permanent location at 115 Lawrence Bell Drive in Amherst late in the third quarter.

“We are grateful for the teamwork that IBM has demonstrated,” CEO Ryan Sasson said in a statement announcing the leasing arrangement. “Their flexible approach to our temporary space needs has made our entry into the Buffalo market easier.”

Additionally, the company said it had started hiring its first “class” of call center employees locally, in preparation for opening its office on Aug. 14.

The first group will consist of eight to 12 “client services team” members, with a second class slated to start training on Sept. 18.

After that, it will continue hiring new groups of employees every other week until it reaches its goal of 1,500 over five years. It will start with 150 employees this year.

Interested workers can submit applications online at www.strategicbuffalo.com.

“Buffalo’s deep pool of talented employees continues to impress us on a daily basis,” Kimberly Celic, Strategic Financial Solutions’ vice president of human resources, said in a statement. “The pride that Buffalonians take in their city is evident in every conversation we have.”

Strategic, which helps consumers consolidate debt, announced plans to invest $20 million to set up the 60,000-square-foot operation and create 1,500 jobs in Amherst in exchange for up to $10 million in job-based incentives from the Empire State Development Corp. It also received tax breaks from the Amherst Industrial Development Agency for the project.

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