Fiserv’s global headcount dropped about 7% last year as the company cut 3,000 employees, on a net basis, and shed business units as it strived to bolster profitability.
The payments and financial technology company had about 41,000 employees worldwide as of the end of last year, according to its annual report filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s down from 44,000 at the end of the 2021.
Fiserv tallied $187 million in employee termination costs tied to severance and related expenses in 2022, it said in the Feb. 23 annual filing. That figure nearly doubled compared to 2021, when it reported $95 million in such expense.
The Brookfield, Wisconsin-based business last year grappled with profit margin pressure and macroeconomic headwinds, while also completing the integration of the $22 billion First Data acquisition announced in 2019.
As the company adapted to that turbulence, it cut employees and sold off business units, including its Korea business and a Costa Rica division. Compared to 2021, the company’s net income jumped about 90% last year, to $2.5 billion, on a revenue increase of 9%, to $17.7 billion.
In response to prior requests for information about job cuts, Fiserv repeatedly declined to specify the number of employees dismissed last year, other than to say the cuts affected a “small percentage” of Fiserv’s global workforce.
Fiserv CEO Frank Bisignano asserted in a December interview that the company’s employee cuts were not made in response to last year’s pressures, but reflected Fiserv’s long-term strategy following the First Data merger. He also suggested that the reduction was due to some employees exiting because they were unwilling to move to a different Fiserv location.
Fiserv “did not let people go this year, other than we hired thousands of people in new locations, and other people didn’t move,” he said in December.
“Thousands” included hiring in all geographic locations where Fiserv has a presence, with some hiring for new positions and some back-filling of existing roles, a spokesperson said at that time.
It’s not clear any longer how many of Fiserv’s workers are based in the U.S. versus outside the country. While Fiserv noted in its prior three annual filings how many workers were employed outside the U.S., it shifted its approach with the latest filing and didn’t specify that regional information.
Spokespeople for the company didn’t respond to a question about the company’s headcount outside the U.S.
In last year’s filing, the company said about 18,000 of its employees were based outside the U.S. For 2020, that figure was 17,000, and in 2019, it was 16,000.
Fiserv this year instead noted in the filing that about 41% of its employees are female. And in the U.S., it said about 37% of workers self-identified as racially or ethnically diverse.
Meanwhile, the company has committed to retaining and hiring a few thousand workers in coming years, in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, where it has opened a new corporate campus, and in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Fiserv is relocating its global headquarters from a suburban location.