Discover Names Roger Hochschild As Chief Executive

Discover Financial named current President and COO Roger Hochschild to succeed David Nelms as chief executive, starting in October. Nelms, who has been the CEO of Discover since 2004, plans to retire in 2019 and will continue as executive chairman until that point, according to the report.

Hochschild, 53, who has been president of the card company since 2004, will retain the title of president, and has been named to the company’s board of directors. He helped lead the direct banking firm through its 2007 spinoff from Morgan Stanley.

“Roger’s deep experience and proven results make him well-suited to lead Discover to new heights of success,” Nelms said in a statement as part of the announcement.

Prior to joining Discover, Hochschild worked for consulting firm Booz Allen, and had also served in various leadership roles at MBNA America. He has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.

Discover, besides its core credit card business, also provides private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit. The firm had $84.2 billion in loan receivables and $39.4 billion in deposits, according to the report.

The change comes as credit card firms like Discover are competing against new, upstart FinTech firms that have used crowdfunding and other new methods to provide credit and liquidity to consumers and small businesses.

Discover last month said it planned to temporarily scale back its participation in the personal loan space, citing the amount of competition in the space and the relatively large number of defaults it was seeing. FinTech firms and P2P lenders have created headaches for traditional banks and credit card issuers, as they are either restricted by government regulations or more stringent internal guidelines for the quality of borrowers they take on.

The card company was originally launched in 1986 by Sears to compete against Visa, Mastercard and American Express.


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