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Indian Ajay Banga Named Mastercard’s New CEO, Whats next?

Ajay Banga has been appointed as the chief executive officer (CEO) of electronic payment services provider MasterCard [[MA]]. During a press conference Monday, Banga said his focus will be on MasterCard’s global growth.

He said by emphasizing local markets, the payments processor can take advantage of its worldwide reach. “Local presence and local thinking is the best way to ensure your ability to grow while you leverage global scale,” Banga said.

“We are fortunate to announce the transition to a leader with Ajay’s expertise and experience,” Richard Haythornthwaite, MasterCard’s chairman, said in a statement. “His industry knowledge, as well as his deep background in financial services encompassing many geographies, makes him the ideal C.E.O. to successfully drive MasterCard’s future growth.”

Mr. Banga, formerly the head of Citigroup’s [[C]] Asia-Pacific business, joined MasterCard last year as a likely successor to Mr. Selander. The appointment of the executive, Ajay Banga, is to take effect on July 1.

Who is Ajay Banga?

President and Chief Operating Officer, MasterCard Worldwide

Ajay Banga is president and chief operating officer of MasterCard Worldwide. He is responsible for the company’s relationships with our customers globally including the delivery of products, services and marketing, and technology and operations. Mr.Banga is also a member of the executive committee.

Prior to joining MasterCard, Mr. Banga spent 13 years at Citigroup from 1996, and held a variety of senior management roles in the United States and Europe, Middle East, Africa regions before becoming chairman and chief executive officer of Citi’s international global consumer group in 2005. He was also responsible for Citi’s brand and marketing work across the entire company. Most recently, he was chief executive officer of Citi Asia Pacific, responsible for all the company’s business lines in the region, including institutional banking, alternative investments, wealth management, consumer banking and credit cards. He was also a member of Citi’s senior leadership and executive committees.

Beginning his business career with Nestle in 1981, Mr. Banga spent the next 13 years in a variety of assignments spanning sales, marketing, and general management. He later joined Pepsico and was instrumental in the launch of its international fast food franchises in India as the economy liberalized.

Mr. Banga serves on the board of Kraft Foods Inc. In addition, he is on the board of trustees of the Asia Society, and was vice chairman of the board of trustees of the New York Hall of Science and a board member of the National Urban League. He was formerly a business sponsor of Citi’s African heritage network – NYC. Mr. Banga has a keen interest in social development issues, and over the period from 2005 to mid-2009, he spearheaded Citi’s strategy in the microfinance sector across the world. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Economic Club of New York, and is a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association.

Mr. Banga graduated with a B.A. in Economics Honors from Delhi University and is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

What does MasterCard have to offer that Visa [[V]], American Express [[AXP]] and others are not already offering?

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