Thomas F. Chapman's portfolio at Equifax Inc. just got bigger.
The 52-year-old former credit card banker who heads Equifax's biggest business line, the financial services group, has taken on international responsibilities previously the bailiwick of president and chief executive Daniel W. McGlaughlin.
The change brings the financial services group to about 60% of Atlanta- based Equifax's annual revenues - almost $1 billion out of $1.6 billion, according to 12-month total reported most recently.
But more important than size, Mr. Chapman said, is the fact that "global requirements now will be an even more important part of new product development, and our customer service teams will respond directly to all customers."
The Equifax executive vice president and group executive spent the last six years transforming what was once a simple credit bureau into a diversified financial information provider. Augmenting the core credit reporting, Mr. Chapman's group offers mortgage information, risk management, market research, and econometric services.
In 1990 the company acquired the Telecredit check guarantee and credit card processing businesses, now Equifax Check Services and Equifax Card Services. In 1994 it added FBS Software, an Atlanta-based provider of bank card software to institutions in numerous countries, which foreshadowed the broader globalization that took effect this month.
Mr. Chapman's peers overseeing Equifax's insurance and health care groups also had overseas responsibilities devolve to them from a dedicated international group. But the financial services group was most affected, in that it accounts for the vast majority of Equifax non-U.S. operations, according to spokesman Norman Black.
International revenues have been growing at a compound 20% rate over the last seven years and now exceed $210 million annually.
"Three years ago, when we divided the corporation into the four groups of financial services, insurance, health care, and international, we deliberately erected international as its own unit because it was a new strategic initiative," said Mr. McGlaughlin, who headed international and who gained the chief executive's title, formerly held by chairman C.B. "Jack" Rogers, on Jan. 1.
"Today, it's time to place the product emphasis for international expansion" within each group, Mr. McGlaughlin said.
Mr. Chapman's group now includes credit and other financial-related operations in Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, and the Middle East.
The financial group executive called the change "logical" and said it "will allow us to provide an even higher level of service to our largest customers" that operate outside the U.S.