3 Questions with Barry Libenson, CIO of Experian

FintekNews is pleased to offer our weekly feature column “3 Questions”. Each week, we feature a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer just 3 questions for our audience in their vernacular. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Barry Libenson, CIO of Experian, the world’s leading global information services company, which empowers consumers and clients to manage their data with confidence.  Prior to joining Experian, Mr. Libenson held the CIO position with Safeway.

NAME: Barry Libenson 
TITLE: Chief Information Officer
COMPANY: Experian
WEB ADDRESS: www.experian.com

How did you personally become involved in fintech?

After spending several years as the Chief Information Officer of Safeway, I became very interested in the transactional side of retail from both a security and a settlement perspective. When I ultimately decided to leave Safeway, the fintech space was one of the fastest growing and most interesting market segments. After speaking with the leadership at Experian, it was clear that recent innovation in the technology space –  things like Hadoop, PaaS, OpenStack etc. – were going to fundamentally change the way businesses operated and fintech was going to be an early adopter of much of this technology. I believe this represents a great opportunity and has already changed the way financial institutions interface with their customers.

What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?

I have overall responsibility for our technology footprint and development strategies within Experian. This includes management of our back office systems, security, customer facing systems as well as working with the development teams to define technology standards and roadmaps. With a global product portfolio and some of the largest financial institutions as customers, it’s critical that we have a development strategy that optimizes our use of technology and allows us to innovate quickly. My day typically consists of early conversations with the teams in Europe and then moves to conversations with other parts of the world. The day usually ends with conversations with the operational teams in AsiaPac.

What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and why?

I believe we’re going to see major changes in the security area. As the threat vectors grow increasingly more sophisticated, the need to defend against them becomes greater and greater. The existing tools and technology are evolving to address the threats we see, however, we continue to hear about breaches almost on a daily basis. This is a global challenge and numerous startups and established firms are racing to find new solutions to address the threats. Almost every VC firm I’m aware of has major investments in the security space. Security is a top priority for Experian, and we’re committed to continuous investments in upgrading talent, processes and technologies needed to protect our systems.

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Barry Libenson is Global Chief Information Officer at Experian PLC.  Prio to joining Experian, Mr. Libenson held CIO positions with Safeway, Land O’Lakes and Ingersoll Rand.   He attended the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.