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The 2015 Tech 50: Frank Bisignano

The First Data Corp. chairman and CEO debuts at No. 25 on this year’s Tech 50 ranking.

25
Frank Bisignano
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
First Data Corp.
PNR

As a youngster in Brooklyn, New York, Frank Bisignano worked at a cheese store in the Kings Plaza shopping mall. “It’s where I learned everything I know about business,” he quips. Over more than two decades in and around Wall Street, Bisignano made his reputation as a hard-nosed operations and turnaround specialist. At Citigroup, where he had worked since 1994, he became CEO of the Global Transaction Services business in 2002 and by 2005 had turned a $400 million loss into a profit exceeding $1 billion. While Bisignano was CEO of mortgage banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he was also co-COO, the business earned $3.3 billion in 2012 after losing $2.1 billion the year before. “I’ve always looked at adversity as opportunity,” says the 55-year-old as he repeats the pattern most impressively at payment processor First Data Corp., where he was named CEO in April 2013 and chairman the following March. Since being taken private by KKR & Co. in a 2007 leveraged buyout, Atlanta-based First Data didn’t record a profit until what Bisignano terms “our historic fourth quarter” of 2014: $12 million on $2.9 billion in revenue. “Two years ago First Data was a no-growth company that could barely pay its debt load. We were fundamentally a processor of payments, essentially a utility,” Bisignano says. “Today we’re a broad technology and solutions company and a software enabler — and we’ve hit profitability.” Bisignano has filled out his senior team with JPMorgan alumni including ex-CIO Guy Chiarello, whose remit as First Data president includes innovation and product development. Bisignano has reached out to Silicon Valley, forming partnerships with the likes of Apple and Palantir Technologies and acquiring mobile gift-card platform Gyft. “We had to be prepared to cannibalize our existing base and bring in new products,” he says. “I was prepared to take the risk of cannibalization to be more relevant.”

See the full story, “The 2015 Tech 50: Racers to the Edge.”


The 2015 Tech 50

1. Jeffrey Sprecher
Intercontinental Exchange
2. Catherine Bessant
Bank of America Corp.
3. Phupinder Gill
CME Group
4. Lance Uggla
Markit
5. Robert Goldstein
BlackRock
6. Shawn Edwards &
Vlad Kliatchko
Bloomberg
7. R. Martin Chavez
Goldman Sachs Group
8. Deborah Hopkins
Citi Ventures
9. Stephen Neff
Fidelity Investments
10. Adena Friedman
Nasdaq OMX Group
11. David Craig
Thomson Reuters
12. Daniel Coleman
KCG Holdings
13. Michael Spencer
ICAP
14. Michael Bodson
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.
15. Charles Li
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Chris Concannon
BATS Global Markets
17. Christopher Perretta
State Street Corp.
18. Antoine Shagoury
London Stock Exchange Group
19. Kevin Rhein
Wells Fargo & Co.
20. Neil Katz
D.E. Shaw & Co.
21. Lee Olesky
Tradeweb Markets
22. Richard McVey
MarketAxess Holdings
23. Seth Merrin
Liquidnet Holdings
24. Robert Alexander
Capital One Financial Corp.
25. Frank Bisignano
First Data Corp.
26. John Marcante
Vanguard Group
27. Joseph Squeri
Citadel
28. Lou Eccleston
TMX Group
29. Claude Honegger
Credit Suisse
30. Chris Corrado
MSCI
31. David Gledhill
DBS Bank
32. John Bates
Software AG
33. Michael Cooper
BT Radianz
34. Gary Scholten
Principal Financial Group
35. Sunil Hirani
trueEX Group
36. Hauke Stars
Deutsche BÖrse
37. Brian Conlon
First Derivatives
38. Jim Minnick
eVestment
39. Lars Seier Christensen & Kim Fournais
40. Tyler Kim
MaplesFS
41. Jim McGuire
Charles Schwab Corp.
42. Steven O'Hanlon
Numerix
43. Sebastián Ceria
Axioma
44. Yasuki Okai
NRI Holdings America
45. Stephane Dubois
Xignite
46. Mazy Dar
OpenFin
47. Brian Sentance
Xenomorph Software
48. Mas Nakachi
OpenGamma
49. John Lehner
BNY Mellon Technology Solutions Group
50. Jock Percy
Perseus

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