Frank J. Bisignano
|Alma mater||Baker University|
Newport University (also known as Janus University)
|Salary||US$51.6 million (total compensation, 2015)|
|Title||Chairman and CEO, First Data|
|Website||Frank Bisignano at First Data|
Frank J. Bisignano (born August 9, 1959) is an American businessman, and the Chairman and CEO of First Data. Based in New York City, Bisignano started his career as VP of both Shearson Lehman Brothers and First Fidelity Bank. Starting in 1994 he held a number of executive positions at Citigroup, with American Banker writing that "he got his payments industry bona fides at Citi by running its massive global transaction services unit." In 2004 the publication Treasury and Risk named him one of the "100 most influential people in finance."
Hired as CAO of JPMorgan Chase in 2005, CEO Jamie Dimon "trusted him with integrating the bank’s purchases of a foundering Bear Stearns Cos. and bankrupt Washington Mutual Inc. during the crisis." Bisignano was also a primary negotiator in JPMorgan's acquisition of the Canary Wharf property in London, and CEO for several of JPMorgan's mortgage banking divisions. In 2012 he was promoted to co-COO, and the Financial Times called him "one of [JPMorgan]s most influential, yet least visible, executives."
In 2013 Bisignano became CEO of First Data Corporation, and his tenure has attracted a fair amount of coverage in the press. He has overseen a technological push at the company, and in 2014 First Data collaborated with Apple Inc. on Apple Pay. Bisignano is also on the boards of organizations such as Continuum Health Partners and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Business career
- 2.1 First Fidelity and Lehman Bros (1990-1994)
- 2.2 Citigroup (1994-2005)
- 2.3 JPMorgan Chase (2005-2013)
- 2.4 CEO of First Data (2013-Current)
- 3 Awards
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Further reading
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early life and education
Frank J. Bisignano was born on August 9, 1959 in the borough of Brooklyn, New York. He and his sister Elvira were raised by their parents Albert H. Bisignano and Anna Rutigliano Bisignano in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Mill Basin. Bisignano's grandparents were immigrants from Southern Italy, and his father, also born in Brooklyn, worked as a US Customs Agent in Port Newark for 45 years. Bisignano attended Baker University in Kansas and received a Bachelor Degree in finance from Newport University (also known as Janus University).
First Fidelity and Lehman Bros (1990-1994)
In the late 1980s Bisignano began working at Shearson Lehman Brothers, an American investment banking and trading firm. In 1986 he was promoted to senior vice president, a role he held until 1990. From 1990 to 1994 he worked with First Fidelity Bank, where he served as an executive vice president and oversaw technology and operations. Afterwards he served as their chief consumer lending officer. At the bank he oversaw thirteen acquisitions and the overall consolidation of eight banks into one.
In 1994 he began working at the financial services corporation Smith Barney, where he was involved with a number of acquisitions that led to the formation of Citigroup. Working at Citigroup later that year, he became "responsible for the management of operations, technology and general services activities on a worldwide basis for the Corporate Investment Bank." At Citigroup he also was a member of their Management Committee. His first role in leadership was as chief administrative officer of the company's Global Corporate and Investment Banking Group (GCIB), and he also held the title of Deputy Head of Operations and Technology for the entire company from 2000 to 2003. He was deputy during the 9/11 attacks, and managed the continuity plan that relocated 16,000 JPMorgan Chase employees displaced by the destruction of the World Trade Center.
He was CEO of Citigroup's corporate and investment banking group from 2002 to 2004, overseeing a number of mergers and the acquisition of Primerica Financial Services. From 2002 to December 2005 he was CEO of the company's Global Transaction Services division, with Maria Aspan of American Banker later writing that Bisignano "got his payments industry bona fides at Citi by running its massive global transaction services unit." During his tenure as CEO, the revenue for the division grew from an annual $4 billion to $6 billion, with "bottom line performance" changing from a net income loss of $400 million to profit of over $1 billion. On June 1, 2004, the publication Treasury and Risk named him one of the "100 most influential people in finance," dubbing him a "flow master" for "keeping corporate cash moving," and writing that while CEO of the Citigroup Global Transaction Services, he "restructured the way the bank deals with its customers to give corporations a single point of contact for all their banking needs."
JPMorgan Chase (2005-2013)
Early roles and acquisitions
Bisignano left Citibank in 2005 to join the large financial firm JPMorgan Chase, becoming chief administrative officer on December 5, 2005.  According to Henny Sender of The Financial Times, Bisignano soon became "one of [CEO] Jamie Dimon’s senior lieutenants," and Bloomberg Businessweek wrote that Dimon "trusted him with integrating the bank’s purchases of a foundering Bear Stearns Cos. and bankrupt Washington Mutual Inc. during the crisis." Bisignano was also a negotiator in JPMorgan's acquisition of the Canary Wharf property in London, while at the time undergoing treatment for throat cancer. Syracuse University awarded him their Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding Achievement in 2010, citing his creation of "new interdisciplinary technology curriculum" meant to help train Chief Information Officers.
CEO of Mortgage Banking
|"[Bisignano] took the reins of JPMorgan’s floundering mortgage unit in 2011, just as the bank was grappling with thorny legal issues, including investors who accused the bank of selling shaky mortgage-backed securities that later imploded. To root out the problems, Mr. Bisignano revamped the mortgage unit and announced a policy to address cases in which JPMorgan had wrongfully foreclosed on active-duty members of the military, a violation of federal law... he was a skilled manager, and he kept a tight watch over the mortgage operations."|
|— Jessica Silver-Greenberg of The New York Times (April 28, 2013)|
While at JP Morgan Chase he was also CEO for a number of divisions, and he became head of US Mortgage Business in February 2011. He was then CEO of the mortgage banking division later that year, and at the time Financial Times called him "one of [JPMorgan]s most influential, yet least visible, executives." The division had encountered legal and financial difficulties in the recent financial crisis, and The Economic Times explained Bisignano's task as "repairing [JPMorgan's] home-lending business after mortgages were acquired through the bank's acquisitions of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual."
He was also CEO of the Mortgage Banking unit as of February 2012, where his responsibilities included "overseeing technology, operations, real estate, and general services." After JPMorgan surpassed first-quarter earnings in April 2012 solely because of mortgage lending profits, Tim Higgins of Bloomberg Businessweek reported that "Bisignano has turned around the mortgage unit." In April 2012, Dick Cashin of One Equity Partners stated that "Frank is the go-to manager at JPMorgan," calling him "the guy brought in to fix things" and "the culture carrier of a bank managed not by bankers and traders but by businessmen and businesswomen." In 2012 the Mortgage Banking unit reported net income of $3.3 billion, widely divergent from the previous year's net loss of $2.1 billion. J.D. Power and Associates also published a study that JP Morgan Chase saw an increase in customer satisfaction rate in relation to buying home and refinancing. Throughout 2012, he was also involved in planning the 2012 mortgage settlement intended to help the US economy.[clarification needed]
Co-COO and departure
In July 2012 he was promoted to co-chief operating officer of JPMorgan Chase, a role he retained until April 28, 2013. As co-COO he was responsible for "overseeing global technology, real estate, operations, procurement, compliance, regulatory control and oversight, resiliency, security and safety, and general services for all of JP Morgan Chase's businesses in over 60 countries." He was also active as a part of JPMorgan Chase's Operating Committee and Executive Committee.
In April 2013, The New York Times reported that Bisignano was departing JPMorgan to become CEO of First Data Corporation. First Data had first approached him in early April, Bisignano stated, and "[the new role] is a great job for me... We got to that conclusion very quickly." Bisignano's co-COO Matthew Zames became the sole COO of JPMorgan Chase.
CEO of First Data (2013-Current)
Joining as CEO
Bisignano became the CEO of the private technology company First Data Corporation on April 29, 2013, taking over from interim CEO Ed Labry. According to the New York Times, among other services First Data "processes credit card payments and manages A.T.M.’s." Though the company had consolidated revenue in 2013 of $10.8 billion, it was heavily debt-ridden and had cycled through four CEOs, including Michael Capellas, since 2007.
For some time the press had reported that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), the firm which had purchased First Data in 2007 for $28 billion, was considering selling First Data's financial services business in an effort to recoup losses. The division consists of First Data's credit, debit and retail card processing services, and was valued at around $4 to $5 billion. Within one day of Bisignano becoming CEO the sale was announced to be off. Publications such as Bloomberg Businessweek credited the halt to Bisignano, quoting KKR executive Scott Nutall as stating "one of the first things Frank said to me was, ’Don’t sell it! I think I can fix it." Bisignano announced that there were "synergies" between First Data's divisions, and instead of breaking up the company he was considering options such as a partial public offering and boosting profits.
Early internal changes
Bisignano's early actions as CEO attracted a fair amount of attention in the business press. Bisignano immediately announced he would be avoiding the company's penchant for cost-cutting with layoffs, stating "we need to do more with our existing customer base — that should be our first order of business." He reportedly spent his first month "meeting investors, talking to customers and staff," and he also held a conference with the company's suppliers to discuss strategy. After starting an equity ownership plan that awarded all of First Data's 24,000 employees with shareholder status, Bisignano was involved with the creation of networking and support groups for female and LGBT employees.
Bisignano also hired a total of 45 new senior executives, with David Carey of Bloomberg Businessweek writing that he "repopulated the executive ranks from top to bottom -- something no previous CEO had done." A number of the hires were Bisignano's former colleagues from both Citi and JPMorgan, including Joseph Plumeri, the former chairman and CEO at Willis Group Holdings, and former JPMorgan CIO Guy Chiarello. In early 2014 there were reports that First Data had paid JPMorgan under $10 million so the hires would not be challenged.
Growth and KKR investment
During the first nine months of 2013 First Data lost $746 million. In January 2014, First Data finalized a deal to provide transaction services for the Banco Cooperativo do Brasil S.A., a bank which is associated with the largest credit union cooperative in Brazil. Bisignano became First Data's chairman of the board on March 5, 2014, and the following month overall revenue was up 2%. In a statement Bisignano wrote that the growth was due to "solid top line growth in [the international division] and steadily improving results in Financial Services."
In May 2014, the New York Institute of Technology awarded Bisignano an honorary doctorate of commercial sciences, citing his business career and philanthropy. After fourteen months as CEO the press continued to focus on Bisignano's leadership, and Fortune Magazine spoke positively about his short tenure. The company's revenues were also increasing, and by mid-2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization had risen 11 percent from 2013, to $1.28 billion in the first half. Also, the financial services arm that KKR had considered selling had adjusted quarterly revenue up 6% by June 30, which was the highest growth for the division in six years.
It was announced in June 2014 that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) was investing an additional $3.5 billion in equity into First Data, after KKR raised the money with a private sale of its stock. The injection of equity lowered First Data's debt from around $24 billion to $20.7 billion, and was generally hailed in the press as a saving grace for the company. Previously First Data's interest payments had come to $440 million a year, which had used up 75 percent of the company's $2.4 billion of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). Robin Sidel of the Wall Street Journal wrote that the "freed" $440 million would "[give] First Data latitude to make acquisitions, develop new products and repay more debt."
Silicon Valley partnerships
Upon becoming CEO Bisignano talked frequently about focusing First Data as a technology company, and David Carey of Bloomberg Businessweek noted that Bisignano spent his first year of tenure "forging ties with Silicon Valley." Four months before Bisignano was hired, First Data had acquired Clover Network, which is a point of sale company that develops software using cloud technology. After Bisignano arrived, First Data then purchased the startups Perka, a digital loyalty marketing platform, and Gyft, a "mobile-gift-card" company. First Data soon announced Clover Station, a product which combined Clover's software with a touchscreen tablet computer and a "white-plastic-sheathed payment terminal." From March 2014 to February 2015 First Data sold around 17,000 units, which also track inventory, manage employees, and deal with payments and customer interactions. First Data debuted the new product Insightics in June 2014, which was created in collaboration with Palantir Technologies. A "sales data analytics platform," the software analyzes merchants' credit-card records to extract information such as spending habits and demographics. Explained the Financial Times:
"A year ago, First Data was a symbol of private equity hubris, but it now has a well-regarded chief executive – its fifth since 2010 – with the freedom to invest, teaming up with Silicon Valley groups such as Palantir in the process."
The Wall Street Journal reported that First Data and Apple Inc. had "quickly struck a deal" in a March 2014 meeting, and in early September Apple debuted iPhones with digital credit cards. Called Apple Pay, the technology utilized First Data's encryption technology, with First Data's software also allowing processing for "iPhone-enabled payments for its retail clients" such as credit card companies and stores like Target, Panera Bread, and Whole Foods. In response to the new technology, Jim Robinson was quoted saying that Bisignano had been "a real change agent in shifting the company from cost cutting to growing revenues," and calling him both "paranoid and confident – as you need to be." In November 2014, the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation awarded Bisignano the Colonel Michael Endres Leadership Award for Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment, for "[making] a difference in employment opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, and spouses." First Data posted a quarterly profit in February 2015, its first in over seven years. In response to the results, journalists such as Robin Sidel of the Wall Street Journal wrote that "one of the biggest buyout duds of the past decade" was becoming a "top turnaround story."
Bisignano serves on the boards of Partnership for New York City and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and the IVMF advisory board. In 2014, Bisignano received the Colonel Michael Endres Leadership Award for Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He was awarded Syracuse University’s Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement in 2010.
|Video of Bisignano on CNBC in February 2014, discussing First Data's partnership with VISA|
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