Former Visa U.S.A. chief executive H. Robert Heller joined Fair, Isaac and Co. full time last week to develop and oversee new joint ventures.
Mr. Heller, 56, has served on the board of Fair, Isaac, a data base management company, as a director for more than two years. He will remain on the board in his new position as executive vice president.
After he resigned from Visa in 1993 amid rumors of a rift with Visa International's then president Charles T. Russell, Mr. Heller ran his own consulting business, International Payments Institute.
One of the firm's biggest clients was Visa International, which hired Mr. Heller as a consultant in 1994 to work on international regulatory issues.
Mr. Russell left Visa in 1994 and was succeeded by Edmund P. Jensen.
Mr. Heller said his consulting business, which also worked with foreign central banks, closed when he assumed the full-time job at Fair, Isaac.
Initially, he is focusing on Fair Isaac Informa, the firm's German joint venture, which was announced in August. The San Rafael, Calif.-based company teamed up with two data specialists, the Strubel Group and the Schober Group. The former manages a credit bureau and collection agency, while the latter compiles demographic data.
The companies plan to co-develop credit bureau scores and other models for data base management purposes.
Mr. Heller said he will be traveling to his native Germany frequently to guide Informa's marketing efforts. He said that other joint ventures are also on the drawing board, but he declined to elaborate.
In addition to the future joint ventures, Mr. Heller, who reports to John Woldrich, chief operating officer, will be working with Fair, Isaac's largest clients as a liaison.
He compared his new position to his work in the '70s and '80s at Bank of America, where he built scoring models to assess country risk.
"In a sense, I will be combining my talents as an economist and my experience at Visa and the Federal Reserve," he said.
Mr. Heller, who has a PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, began his career as a professor.
He was also a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1986 to 1989.