First Data Corp. has reorganized its card services group, the largest processor of bank credit card accounts, into two distinct business units.
A newly created card enterprise group, led by Aldo Tesi, will focus on specialized and nontraditional needs of bank card clients, oil companies, and other nonbank card issuers, and new services such as home banking.
Meanwhile, the company's core processing operation, First Data Resources, formerly headed by Mr. Tesi, has been reconstituted as a global entity under First Data Corp. executive vice president Ed Nafus.
Mr. Tesi and Mr. Nafus report to Walter Hoff, a First Data executive vice president and head of the card services group.
Mr. Nafus, who had been in charge of FDR International, keeps that responsibility while also overseeing the domestic part of First Data Resources and its new president, Rich Zehnacker.
An industry analyst said the moves are consistent with First Data Corp.'s goal of becoming a global, information-based company.
"There are a number of emerging markets within payment systems," said Richard Weingarten, principal at Montgomery Securities. First Data is "putting together the international and domestic (sides) to have a global focus on credit card processing."
He pointed to First Data's development of USA Value Exchange, a data base that tracks consumer behavior, and the recent acquisitions of Donnelley Marketing Inc. and Hogan Information Services. The purchases rounded out the stable of credit card marketing and collections services of another First Data unit, First Data Infosource.
Mary Cagney, the card services group's chief administrative officer, said First Data is "reverting to tradition," breaking up business units to stay in closer touch with its markets. The strategy "combines the resources and scope of a larger concern with the flexibility, focus, and energy of the best smaller ones," she said.
"We want to beef up in size so we can be small," Mr. Hoff said last month, speaking of the benefits of First Data's merger last year with First Financial Management Corp. He spoke at the American Bankers Association bank card conference.
The card enterprise group "gives us more client focus," said Ms. Cagney. "If we are able to pull a select group of clients out of the core FDR business and provide them with a very high level of leadership, we isolate a group of clients that might have been lost in the overall mix."