WisBusiness: Fiserv CEO sees ‘massive shift’ in financial landscape

By Tammy McCubbin

For WisBusiness.com

MILWAUKEE – Jeff Yabuki, president and CEO of Fiserv, Inc., spoke this afternoon about the changing landscape of financial services, saying that “we are seeing a massive shift in the [financial] landscape.”

Yabuki told a gathering of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee that the shift, “has everything to do with how our future generations are going to bank.”

“I think over the long term we are going to see less [banking] institutions, but we are still going to see thousands. … I think you’ll see new kinds of institutions come in.”

Yabuki called the current economic situation “a challenge of monumental proportion” but added, “I think the government is doing a pretty good job right now.”

Yabuki also talked about the significant transformation initiative the company has taken over the last two years concerning the landscape of financial services and leadership for today and tomorrow. Fiserv, Inc., a Milwaukee-based Fortune 500 company, is the largest provider of information technology processing to the financial services industry worldwide. Yabuki, the company’s third CEO since 2005, said he had to decide what the company was going to stand for when he took the job.

He said he decided, “we are going to stand for serving clients in a way that is consistent with what we have always done … always keeping clients at the center of the universe.”

Regarding the transformation of the company, Yabuki stated he had to build up an infrastructure for change even as he “recognized that change does not come easily.”

“The single thing that was the most challenging,” he said, “is the need for multiple catalysts. … It’s surprising how many catalysts it takes for an organization to change.”

Yabuki also stressed his opinion on the importance of acting like a leader during times of financial need.

“I think it is so critical for us to be sort of a bit of a beacon, and show some strength,” he said.