Discover Financial Services named Amir Arooni chief information officer Tuesday, succeeding former CIO Glenn Schneider, according to a company announcement.
Arooni is currently the CIO of insurance and asset management company NN Group in the Netherlands where he is responsible for the company's technology operation and security. In April, Arooni will join Discover's Executive Committee as an executive vice president, according to the announcement.
Schneider will work with Arooni on the transition, then will begin a "special project," under CEO and President Roger Hochschild.
As CIO, Arooni will join a company in the process of streamlining business capabilities, targeting efficiency.
NN Group spun off from ING in 2014. While there, Arooni served as CIO of global digital channels and payment services, according to the announcement. At ING, he executed an end-to-end work process transformation using Agile and DevOps methodologies.
While at Discover, Arooni can apply workflow transformation processes to facilitate the efficiency the company is after.
Discover is coming off a "very good year," bringing in $3 billion in net income and reporting a 26% return on equity, said Hochschild during the Q4 2019 earnings call last week. He attributes the success to high returns in consumer lending and direct banking and capitalizing on Discover's global network.
Returns have allowed the company to invest in "advanced technology" and work to expand global acceptance, he said.
Talk of technology advancements center on efficiency and the ability to drive long term growth. Though Hochschild did not go into technology investment specifics, CFO John Greene highlighted the company's efforts to find efficiency by investing in robotic process automation and advanced analytics.
In Q4, Discover had $74 million in operating expenses, up 7% year-over-year. In addition to increased employee compensation, the company had higher professional fees, some of which were used to support analytics investments, according to Greene. The company had a $20 million increase in "information processing" stemming from advanced analytics and infrastructure costs.