- Fiserv has hired Rick Singh as its enterprise growth officer, the payment processor said in a Wednesday news release. Mergers and acquisitions will fall under Singh’s purview when he starts at Fiserv in mid-January.
- Singh, who’s spent the past decade at top bank JPMorgan Chase, will also focus on strategy and ventures in his role for the Brookfield, Wisconsin-based company.
- As Fiserv assesses M&A opportunities, the company is employing restraint, CFO Bob Hau said during a Wednesday appearance at a Raymond James investor conference. “Because we don’t wake up needing to do a deal, we can be patient, and we can be very focused on making sure that there’s a return for that investment,” he said.
The growth officer role is a position Fiserv had previously and brought back, Hau said. “The organization has evolved, and so we thought it was appropriate to recreate the role,” he said Wednesday during the investor conference. A Fiserv spokesperson said the role of chief growth officer was created in 2021, first held by Suzan Kereere and then Byron Vielehr. Vielehr left the company in last year, according to his LinkedIn profile.
At JPMorgan, Singh has been a managing director in charge of portfolio management in U.S. Equities, which oversees about $400 billion in assets, Fiserv said in the release. In addition to his time at JPMorgan, Singh previously focused on M&A as an investment banker at Salomon Smith Barney, Hau noted.
Singh will serve on Fiserv’s management committee in the newly created role, the company said.
Fiserv has been a frequent acquirer in recent years, and Singh’s hiring could portend a heightened focus on M&A for the payments and fintech giant. Fiserv has spent about $2 billion on acquisitions over the past two years, Hau noted. A good chunk of that was spent on core banking software company Finxact, which Fiserv acquired for $650 million in 2022.
But Fiserv has also scooped up smaller companies including restaurant technology company BentoBox and payments technology company Pineapple Payments, as well as Latin American companies such as Brazilian payments company Skytef this year and Argentinian payment service provider Yacare last year.
“We see opportunity out there,” Hau said of the current M&A landscape. But the company currently has a robust set of products and a broad distribution system, “so I don’t wake up thinking, ‘Geez, if I could only buy X capability, or Y solution,’” he added.
However, he reiterated that the company sees possibilities and “we certainly have capacity,” Hau said. Fiserv expects to generate about $4 billion in free cash flow this year, he said, and the company is confident in its balance sheet.
“The opportunity is there if we find the right solution,” Hau said. “Valuations have come down; valuation expectations haven’t come down quite as much yet.”
Fiserv also announced Wednesday that its Chief Revenue Officer Jennifer (Jenn) LaClair will lead global business solutions for the company beginning in January, following the departure of Kereere, who’s heading to digital payments company PayPal.