Of all the artwork adorning CFG Bank’s new headquarters in Baltimore Peninsula, a simple photograph of three tulip bulbs is among Nicole Donegan’s favorites.

Designers initially suggested adorning the new headquarters for Maryland’s fastest growing bank with images of money or dollar bills. Donegan, CFG’s strategic planning manager, didn’t want to go there. Company leaders settled on a mix of locally produced artwork including the tulips photo — a subtle nod to the flower’s enormous financial boom during the Dutch Golden Age.

“This is all about currency,” Donegan said, looking Monday at the photo on the wall. “But not so obnoxious and obvious.”

The tulips are perhaps the only demure feature inside the sleek new high-rise office space in South Baltimore.

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CFG Bank has moved into three floors of 2455 House St. where its approximately 260 employees have panoramic views of the city and waterfront as well as cushy amenities like a café-style employee lounge complete with a sports simulator, billiard table and shuffleboard. The company’s mission statement and other corporate values cast a neon glow along hallways leading to various board rooms, each outfitted with touch-screens displaying whether they’ve been booked for a meeting.

The shiny headquarters are the latest symbol of the company’s rapid expansion. CFG Bank grew exponentially from $1 billion in assets at the end of 2019 to over $5 billion in assets at the end of 2023. CEO Jack Dwyer has previously attributed the bank’s success to its ability to originate creative loans typical of a bigger bank, especially in the nursing home industry.

Since then, the little-known financial institution has bloomed as a prominent player in Baltimore’s business and philanthropic scenes. Look around the city and you’ll notice the CFG name and that of Dwyer on all sorts of civic projects and corporate sponsor lists: the overhaul of the Baltimore arena, expansion of the National Harbor’s floating wetlands and construction of the city’s first Catholic school in about 60 years, to name a few. CFG Bank and Dwyer are also sponsors of The Baltimore Banner.

Dwyer said the company outgrew its Baltimore County headquarters and consolidated two holdings — Capital Funding Bancorp, Inc. and Capital Funding Group Inc. — and their subsidiaries under one roof. Bancorp is the bank’s holding company and the funding group is the entity Dwyer initially founded to loan money in the health care industry.

Every inch of the 97,000 square feet of office space was designed to attract employees back to the workplace after a rise in remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. And Dwyer is also pledging to cover the cost of child care and pet care for his employees. Those programs are slated to begin in the first quarter 2025, Donegan said in an email.

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“We need people back in the city, it’s extremely important,” Dwyer said.

Baltimore has been good to him from a business perspective, he said, and he feels an obligation to give back.

In the meantime, CFG executives said they are continuing to focus on growth. The company is taking on more partners for a second fund targeting residential buildings, including apartment complexes and condos, with the goal of reaching $10 billion in assets and, eventually, going public. Bancorp in January announced it had raised $160 million in capital.

That strategy hints at CFG Bank’s future with its founder serving as CEO. Although Dwyer has long been braided into the bank’s history, he only recently moved into the chief executive role in February. He was already serving as the Capital Funding Group’s CEO at the time of the announcement, which notably did not mention CFG Bank’s longtime CEO Bill Wiedel.

Dwyer credited Wiedel for doing “an absolutely fantastic job orchestrating the commercial bank into the Baltimore community,” he said. His departure from CFG was a result of c-suite level consolidation efforts.

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In a statement, Wiedel, who had been CEO since 2018, said he enjoyed his time at CFG Bank immensely.

“I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished during my tenure,” Wiedel said in the statement. “I’m currently exploring quite a few opportunities. I’m excited for what the future has in store.”

Back inside Dwyer’s glass-wrapped corner office overlooking the water, the CEO and several other top leaders including Donegan looked around at their sunny new space in Baltimore Peninsula. There will definitely be room to grow.

“We were bursting at the seams,” Dwyer said.

Correction: This story was corrected to note that CFG Bank has leased three floors for its new headquarters at 2455 House St.

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