Finch, 55, cited the fact that he’s been with the company for 28 years and has been working almost nonstop as his reason for stepping down.
“A little rest would not be a bad thing,” he said, according to American Banker.
“As you can imagine, it was a difficult decision, but we’re at a good spot to do this, though there’s no perfect time,” Finch said. “Externally it looks like we’re right in the middle of the Zelle phenomenon. The reality is the company has been making great progress, it’s well established in the fraud and risk space, and even with Zelle, the P2P business case is doing well.”
Finch plans to spend some time working at the Finch Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Phoenix that serves children and families in need. But for the next 12 months, he will assist with the company’s transition to a new CEO.
Those who have worked with Early Warning and Zelle praised Finch’s leadership skills.
“Paul is a wonderful human being; he cares deeply about the people he leads at EWS,” said Bill Wallace, head of digital for JPMorgan Chase and chairman of Early Warning’s board. “In the 15 years he’s been CEO of EWS, he has helped the financial services industry make great strides in areas like risk, authentication and development and deployment of real-time P2P capability. He is a man of his word, he is somebody I’ve come to appreciate as a leader. I think his team respects him highly.”
Mark Monaco, head of enterprise payments at Bank of America, said Finch “led the organization through the development of Zelle and deserves a lot of credit for that.”
“He has a great ability to have a vision about where payments and financial services is going, as well as the ability to work collaboratively with bank members. It’s been a pleasure working with him,” Monaco said.
Perhaps some of Finch’s biggest fans are his employees, many of who were part of Finch’s original company and have been there nearly 30 years.
“If there’s anything that’s tough to do, it’s to leave behind some amazing people,” Finch said.