Reflecting the dynamic and fast-moving conditions in the global payments industry, electronic payment processor First Data Corp. has made a splash with its announcement that it has hired Frank Bisignano, who previously served as co-chief operating officer at JPMorgan (with Matt Zames, who will fully assume the COO role, according to the Wall Street Journal), as its chief executive officer, effective today, Monday, April 29. Bisignano also will join the First Data board of directors.
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At JPMorgan, Bisignano's responsibilities included overseeing global technology, real estate, operations, procurement, compliance, regulatory control and oversight, resiliency, security and safety, and general services for all of JPMorgan Chase's businesses in over 60 countries. He also served on the executive and operating committees of JP Morgan Chase. During the housing crisis, Bisignano had the additional responsibility of serving as CEO of Mortgage Banking. He was hired by the bank as chief administrative officer in 2005.
Prior to JPMorgan Chase, Bisignano was CEO for Citigroup's Global Transactions Services business and a member of Citigroup's Management Committee. Bisignano was also the chief administrative officer for Citigroup's Corporate and Investment Bank, a senior executive vice president and Citigroup's firm-wide deputy head of technology and operations. At Smith Barney, he helped lead and integrate the firm's series of strategic acquisitions that led to the formation of Citigroup. Prior to his career at Citi, Bisignano worked at First Fidelity Bank from 1990-1994, as an executive vice president overseeing technology and operations, and later as chief consumer lending officer.
"Frank has a proven track record of catalyzing positive change on a global business operating in a dynamic industry," said Joe Forehand, Chairman of the Board of First Data, in a press release.
"At Citigroup, he built -- from the ground up -- the largest transaction services business in the world and oversaw the largest technological and operations businesses in the financial services industry. Frank is known for managing technological innovation in customer-focused businesses, and can now apply his skills and experience to leading the largest transaction payment processing company in the world."
"First Data has an impressive customer-centric business and I look forward to joining the team and building on our strong partnerships with customers," said Bisignano, in the press release. "New technological advances are impacting the payments industry every day, making life easier for our partners, our merchants and consumers. First Data can and should lead the way when it comes to offering the most innovative solutions and service."
Bisignano succeeds Ed Labry who has been serving a dual role as both president of Retail and Alliance Services and Interim CEO since January. He will continue in his role as president of Retail and Alliance Services.
Much of the media coverage of Bisignano's move has positioned it as the latest in a series of executive departures from JPMorgan following the bank's recent heavy trading losses and subsequent regulatory scrutiny. But with mobile, non-traditional competition and globalization reshaping the payments business, the move also puts Bisignano in a high-profile and visible position at a very opportune time. Describing his former boss, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, as his "mentor and friend," Bisignano told the Wall Street Journal that Dimon is "happy for me. Any time a guy leaves to be a CEO, that is good for the guy who groomed him over time."