SWIFT promotes Americas and UK chief to CEO

Perez-Tasso was a founder of the SWIFT2020 strategy, as well as an executive sponsor of its customer security programme.

By Joe Parsons

SWIFT has promoted its chief executive for the Americas and UK region and co-developer of its five-year strategy to lead the global organisation.

Javier Perez-Tasso, a SWIFT veteran of nearly 25 years, will take on the CEO role from the beginning of July.

Perez-Tasso joined SWIFT in 1995 and was appointed chief executive of the Americas and UK region in 2015. His time in the role focused on deepening SWIFT’s engagement with global transaction banks and implementing business development initiatives in high-growth markets.

Perez-Tasso was a founder of the SWIFT2020 strategy, its five-year plan which has led to a renewed focus on cross-border payments, its expansion into financial crime compliance and deeper presence in market infrastructures. Soon after the strategy launch, he described SWIFT’s approach as “co-creating products together with the community, because that way we know they are solving the real operational challenges our customers face.”

He was also an executive sponsor of SWIFT’s customer security programme from 2016 to 2018, helping to formulate and lead SWIFT’s response to the growing cyber-security challenge.

“Javier‘s track record of impressive leadership, coupled with his in-depth understanding of the company and its business, means that he is expertly positioned for this new role,” said Yawar Shah, chairman, SWIFT.

“I am confident that his appointment will ensure that SWIFT can continue to build on its tradition of excellence and innovation in support of the global financial community, while also enabling acceleration of its endorsed strategy.”

He replaces Gottfried Leibbrandt, who will step down at the end of June after leading SWIFT for seven years.

Some of the milestones during Leibbrandt’s time at the helm include the successful launch and take-up of the SWIFT gpi payments service, along with the expansion of the firm’s financial crime compliance portfolio and securities services and the global cooperative’s successful move into real-time domestic payments.