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Box hires Nasdaq exec to head financial services practice

August 19, 2015, 4:00 PM UTC
Box Inc. CEO Aaron Levie Interview
Aaron Levie, co-founder and chief executive officer of Box Inc., sits for a photograph after a television interview in San Francisco California, U.S., on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. Box Inc. will offer corporate clients access to applications on remote servers via Apple Inc.'s mobile devices, challenging software makers such as Oracle Corp. and International Business Machines Corp, (IBM). Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Come October, Box (BOX) co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie won’t need to hunt around for a place to hold business meetings when he’s visiting Manhattan.

The cloud file-sharing company is taking over 13,121-square-feet of New York office space once occupied by video app maker Vine—primarily to support its growing list of financial services accounts. It has hired Adam Ross, most recently the vice president of global corporate solutions at Nasdaq, to spearhead that strategy. Before that, Ross was responsible for growing Bloomberg Financial’s software business from zero to 85 accounts.

“He’ll be leading our effort to reach major banks, insurance companies, investment banks, and financial services providers,” Levie told Fortune.

This is his second high-level strategic hire so far this month. Last week, Box added the former CEO of EMC’s former file-sharing service, Syncplicity, to its payroll. Jeetu Patel is chief strategy officer and senior vice president of developer relations. He’s in charge of the company’s new Developer Edition. The platform is a white-label version of the Box service, one that a business would use to share information securely with its customers or partners.

“With our platform, we want to enable all of the use cases that our core products can’t solve,” Levie said.

Box has approximately 47,000 paying customers for its service, which enables businesses to share documents, images and other business information. Over the past year, that business has been commoditized through the introduction of competitive services from big companies like Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft. So Box is prioritizing features that appeal to specific industries, notably health care, retail, and media and entertainment.

Ross is the first official leader for the financial services practice, officially established in February. Box already has some pretty big accounts in the sector including FICO, KKR, and Nationwide. To make its service more attractive, the company has prioritized technologies to address the sector’s strict records retention, data verification, and regulatory compliance requirements.

This is Box’s first full-scale office outside its Los Altos, Calif., headquarters. It will support 75 local employees in customer success, sales, and developer relations by this time next year, Levie said. The company’s official headcount today is around 1,200.

The new office also puts some of the Box team in closer proximity to IBM, which became a strategic partner in June.

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