Following a rather disappointing end of year quarter for its financial segment and a dearth of wins for its corporate actions solution eVent over the last 12 months, it seems Fiserv has suffered yet another blow this month with the departure of two of its key staff members: former vice president of its Investment Services business Geoff Harries and former global head of marketing Irene Mulkeen. Harries, who was with CheckFree for four years and then Fiserv for three, has resurfaced at DST Global Solutions, charged with focusing on OTC derivatives processing, among other things.
The acquisition of the ex-Accurate business (which was under the CheckFree banner at the time) by Fiserv seems to have resulted in a tailing off of its ambitions in the corporate actions space in favour of the CheckFree payments business. When Reference Data Review last spoke to Harries back in October he indicated that the vendor had taken time out to re-invest in the eVent platform and was planning a push in the asset management community. However, in the ensuing months, no deals have materialised (certainly not publicly anyway) and Harries has exited the building. Surely this doesn’t bode well for the eVent business overall?
Perhaps the vendor will be tempted to sell on its business to any willing takers, or it may choose to bow out altogether. After all, the financial segment experienced 0% revenue growth for the fourth quarter of last year and a decline in revenue of 4% for the year overall; not particularly encouraging when contrasted with the 2% revenue increase experienced on the payments side of the business. Head office may be keen to focus on its core strengths, rather than retain a business that is seemingly in decline.
Given that the rest of the corporate actions vendor community seems to be having a much better start to the year, the lack of big wins for Fiserv is particularly noticeable. Perhaps it is the rumoured loss of its on the ground staff to one of its large eVent customers that has held back its ability to service what should be a more healthy client pipeline? Whatever the reason, the future of the eVent platform has something of a question mark over it at the moment.
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