Wall Street's Mr. Fix-It Has $338 Million Riding on Fiserv Deal

(Bloomberg) -- First Data Corp. was Frank Bisignano’s big bet, rooted in the idea that waiting for Jamie Dimon to retire wasn’t worth it.

Five years after leaving one of Wall Street’s top jobs to lead the debt-laden payments processor, he helped engineer a deal with Fiserv Inc. that could be worth as much as $338 million for him.

Bisignano, 59, who was recruited to become First Data’s chief executive officer after working at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., holds shares in the company worth about $90 million at the $22.74 offer price. That includes shares held in trusts by him and relatives.

Wall Street's Mr. Fix-It Has $338 Million Riding on Fiserv Deal

Bisignano also has stock options and restricted shares, some of which haven’t vested, valued at about $248 million that would pay out if he’s dismissed as a result of the deal, or decides to leave. If he stays, the combined firm will likely replace his unvested awards, while any vested stock options probably will be exchanged for cash.

‘Good Reason’

As of now, he’ll be president and chief operating officer of the combined company, reporting to Fiserv CEO Jeffery Yabuki, the firms said Wednesday in a statement. Still, Bisignano’s employment agreement lets him leave for “good reason” if there’s a change in control or a reduction of his title or responsibilities, which provides and opening for a lucrative exit. In that instance, he could also collect about $9.8 million in severance and benefits.

A large part of his potential haul is a grant of 5 million restricted shares First Data gave him in 2017, which vest over seven years, or a shorter period if the stock price tops certain thresholds. The grant boosted his total compensation package to $102.2 million, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index.

KKR & Co. purchased First Data in a 2007 leveraged buyout, just before the financial crisis. Bisignano, a trusted troubleshooter for JPMorgan’s Dimon and a top contender to replace him, was recruited to First Data in 2013. He undertook a series of acquisitions before leading the firm through an initial public offering in October 2015.

First Data’s shares returned just 9.6 percent since the IPO through Tuesday, compared with 41 percent for the Russell 1000 Financial Services Index. The firm’s debt load has weighed on performance.

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