Citi's Hans Morris named president of Visa Inc

Citi's Hans Morris named president of Visa Inc

Citi veteran Hans Morris has been appointed president of Visa Inc, which is set to go public by early next year.

Morris, 48, joins Visa Inc following a 27-year career at Citigroup where he has held numerous leadership positions, including vice chairman, chief operating officer and head of client management at the investment banking division of Salomon Smith Barney.

Since November 2002 he has been chief financial officer of Citi Markets and Banking and leads the firm's finance, technology and operations divisions.

As president of Visa Inc Morris will have responsibility for all of the company's income-generating businesses and will oversee the management of global and local relationships with key stakeholders, including card issuers, merchants, merchant acquirers and third-party processors.

Morris will take up his new post at Visa Inc on 1 September 2007. He will be based in San Francisco and report directly to Visa Inc's chairman and chief executive officer, Joseph Saunders.

The card payment network also says that John Philip Coghlan, who has been president and CEO of Visa USA since July 2005, has resigned. John Partridge, president of Inovant, will assume the expanded responsibilities of interim president of Visa USA.

The publicly-traded company to be known as Visa Inc will include all of Visa's geographical units except for Visa Europe, which will remain a membership association and will be owned and governed by its European member banks.

Last week Visa disclosed plans for its restructuring ahead of its IPO in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As part of this, plans to establish a litigation fund to protect future investors from outstanding legal claims. According to a Financial Times report Visa's US member banks have been asked to contribute funds from flotation proceeds to an escrow account to pay for any outstanding legal claims.

Visa is facing legal action from US retailers, regulators and rival card networks Discover and American Express for alleged anti-competitive business practices.

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