Little should change for Fiserv Inc. customers as command of the company shifts, said Leslie M. Muma, who has been named the second chief executive officer in the data processor's 15-year history.

Mr. Muma, 54, said he plans to focus on a long-standing Fiserv mission: to accelerate growth through acquisitions.

The company has done 85 deals since its founding, four of them this year.

The strategy has helped Fiserv to grow from 170 clients and $21 million of revenue in its first year to 7,000 clients and $1.3 billion of revenue last year.

Mr. Muma said he hopes to reach the $2 billion revenue mark by 2001.

In what he described as a "planned and orderly" transition, Mr. Muma is assuming the title of chief executive officer from George D. Dalton.

At 71, Mr. Dalton is scaling back his involvement in the company he co- founded with Mr. Muma.

Mr. Dalton continues as chairman and plans to remain active in seeking acquisitions.

Two key sectors Fiserv will target are insurance and discount brokerages, Mr. Muma said.

Fiserv processes nearly $100 million of insurance accounts and transactions, including life, annuity, and property-casualty.

It processes $150 million of securities transactions for discount brokers.

"We want to be the data processor for the future financial institution," Mr. Muma said.

Fiserv began in 1984 by serving thrifts and some banks, then moved on to credit unions.

"We also picked up some ATMs, mortgage banks, and debit card processing along the way," Mr. Muma said.

"Today, we service only 23% of banks and credit unions and a smaller percentage of insurance companies and discount brokerages," Mr. Muma said. "We still have plenty of room to grow."

Fiserv's stock is splitting for the fifth time since it went public in 1986.

The three-for-two split, in the form of dividend distributions scheduled for April 30, would increase outstanding shares to 123.3 million.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.