Advanta Corp., which made Europe its first target for overseas expansion, may be looking to enter other global markets with the hiring of Hung-Fu "Hank" Chiang.
Mr. Chiang, 57, became Advanta Corp.'s vice president as well as senior vice president for its international unit on Jan. 1. He had been senior vice president and general manager for MasterCard International's greater China region, based in Taiwan.
Mr. Chaing, who will be based in Advanta's Horsham, Pa., headquarters, is the latest of several former MasterCard employees to join Advanta.
"Hank's appointment represents a major step towards Advanta's goal of expanding its services internationally," said Jim Allhusen, the Advanta executive vice president to whom Mr. Chiang reports.
Advanta Corp. chief executive officer Alex W. "Pete" Hart, a former MasterCard CEO who joined the company two years ago, has indicated that international expansion is a top priority.
Other ex-MasterCard executives who followed Mr. Hart to Advanta are senior vice presidents Arthur D. Kranzley and James W. Johns.
Advanta launched its international venture last June with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Their company, RBS Advanta in Edinburgh, will issue MasterCard and Visa cards in the United Kingdom.
Advanta, which has $7 billion in credit card receivables and is the nation's 14th-largest credit card issuer, also is active in home equity lending.
"They'll be looking to export bank card strategies into the rest of Europe and down the line," said Thomas P. Facciola, an analyst with Salomon Brothers Inc. He said Mr. Chiang's appointment may indicate "they want to start thinking" about Asia.
"The Asian market is very different from that of Europe," said Mr. Facciola. "With the exception of Hong Kong, credit cards are not yet big business there as a lending vehicle."
An Advanta spokeswoman said the company is "looking at selected markets around the world," but has not announced specific initiatives other than in the U.K.
In an interview, Mr. Chiang said he had grown tired of his assignment trying to pave the way for credit card acceptance in China, and was looking for a more direct role in affecting a company's policy.
MasterCard did not comment on Mr. Chiang's departure.
Mr. Chiang, who earned a PhD in management from the University of California at Los Angeles, also was senior vice president and chief financial officer at First Interstate Service Co. in Torrance, Calif., a unit of First Interstate Bancorp, where Mr. Hart was an executive vice president before joining MasterCard.