Christopher Augustin, a financial services technology innovator whose experience spans nearly three decades at some of the world's top firms, has joined First Data, the global leader in payment technology and services solutions, as chief information officer (CIO).
In his new role, Augustin will lead the company's software development work, engineering processes and software and application development strategy across the company.
"Chris Augustin, a key addition to our leadership team, arrives at First Data to accelerate our innovation and deliver cutting-edge solutions to help our clients grow their businesses," said Guy Chiarello, president of First Data. "Chris' broad experience and creativity, ranging from startups to large financial institutions, will guide our extensive development, conversion, and implementation efforts and maintain First Data's position at the forefront of a dynamic and competitive industry," Chiarello added.
Augustin joins First Data from Marked Private LLC, where he served as chief information officer and senior business advisor, responsible for designing and architecting the private messaging and social networking site for immediate market acceptance and future business growth. Prior to Marked Private, Augustin was co-founder and chief information officer for Javelin Capital Markets LLC, where he was involved in all aspects of growing that business. At Javelin, Augustin built a technology and client integration team responsible for designing, developing, deploying and supporting a cutting edge Swap Execution Platform for IRS and CDS.
Beginning his career as a programmer at Salomon Brothers, Augustin progressed rapidly, eventually serving as CIO in several large global financial firms. At Citigroup and Bank of America, Augustin was CIO for Global Markets and Investment Banking. At Merrill Lynch, Augustin held the role of Global CIO for all of that firm's 15,000 technologists covering technology strategy, software development, and infrastructure management.
Over the years, Augustin has managed a variety of global, mission-critical mergers and technology conversions, including the Salomon Smith Barney merger, the Nikko Joint Venture, the combination of Citibank and Traveler's, and the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch merger. With his more recent experience in high profile technology start-ups, Augustin brings to First Data an entrepreneurial mindset as the payment and processing industry continues to evolve, grow and change. The drivers of this industry transformation are innovation, high-availability technology, infrastructure optimization, continuous improvement, monitoring programs, and close client partnerships, all of which are evident in Augustin's lengthy track record.
Augustin's strong belief in personnel development has led him to build extensive "people programs" throughout his career, including internships, school partnerships, internal "technology universities" and mentoring programs. "In every company I've ever been a part of, the most important asset is always the creativity and vision of its people, as it is at First Data. I'm excited to be part of this transformation and new chapter at First Data," said Augustin. "Supporting our customers and our clients requires us to be forward looking and innovative as we aggressively leverage our existing technology base and pursue new, advanced technology solutions."