ACI Worldwide has been a leading player in global payment payments since the early days of credit cards. Phil Heasley, the president of the firm, has been around just as long.
After 15 years at the helm of ACI, Phil announced his retirement. The announcement comes at a time when ACI is performing strongly and generating continued growth in the industry it entered in 1975.
ACI, formerly Applied Communications, Inc, grew up in Omaha, NE and was instrumental in delivering technologies that supported early ATMs and core banking systems. In 1982, the firm launched BASE24, a 24×7 platform which processed credit card transactions, and processed clearing and settlement functions.
Through the years, the firm grew both organically and through acquisitions, and today has a top global presence in all aspects of payments from portfolio management, to transactions, risk, and fraud management. The Universal Platform (UP) is well known for its ability to connect any-to-any payment system.
The firm crossed the line of $1 billion in revenue in 2018 and shows significant gains in 2019.
In a 3Q19 earnings call, reported by The Motley Fool, the CFO announced:
- Q3 revenue grew 45% over last year and came in above our expectations, and at the high end of our guidance range
- Turning next to our two operating segments, our On-Demand segment grew revenue 85%, driven primarily from the Speedpay contribution and continues to deliver solid margin improvement.
- With our net adjusted EBITDA margin sitting 20% in Q3 this year compared to 5% last year.
- We continue to expect full year 2019 revenue to be in a range of $1.315 billion to $1.345 billion
Following the financials, Mr. Heasley made his personal announcement:
- This morning, I announced that after an incredibly fulfilling 15 years with ACI, I have been informed the Board that I plan to retire year-end as President and CEO and member of the Board. The Board has been conducting a thorough search for my successor.
Phil spent four decades in payments, which is summarized at the ACI Worldwide site.
- Before joining the company, he was chairman and CEO of Paypower, LLC. From 2000 to 2003,
- he was chairman and CEO of First USA Bank, the credit card subsidiary of Bank One.
- Heasley spent 13 years in executive positions at U.S. Bancorp, including six years as vice chairman and the last two years as president and chief operating officer.
- Before joining U.S. Bancorp, Mr. Heasley spent 13 years at Citicorp, including three years as president and COO of Diners Club, Inc.
- Heasley served as chairman of the board of Visa USA from 1996 until November 2003 and was a member of the board of Visa International during the same period.
- Heasley also serves or has served, as a director of Fidelity National Financial, Inc., Ohio Casualty Corporation, Fair Isaac Corporation, Kintera Inc., The Schwan Food Company, Inc., and Public Radio International.
Phil would certainly be a member of the Credit Card Hall of Fame, a thought we mentioned several years ago. He impacted the payments industry from every perspective, from product design to operations and technology. He certainly left a lasting mark.
Now, he will be soon off to mastering marlin fishing in Naples, FL.
Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Card Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group