Swift CIO to retire

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) CIO is to retire after 15 years at the company

Mike Fish, CIO of Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), is to retire in January after 15 years at the financial transaction messaging company.

He will step down in January to give time to hand over to his successor. Swift said it will look for a new CIO internally and externally.

Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO at Swift, said the IT infrastructure is in better shape than ever. "Mike has steered this important function through an extended period of intense change, meeting a number of key new technological challenges while always maintaining consistent operational excellence and ensuring we never veered away from our core 'failure is not an option' mission."

Fish joined in 1999 from US telecom firm Ameritech, where he held various senior management positions in IT.

He was appointed CIO in July 2006 and has overseen projects including opening an operating centre in Switzerland. This was part of a project known as the Distributed Architecture (DA) project, which was completed in 2013. 

The €175m five-year project ensured transactions made between European organisations remain in Europe. Before that, transactions would pass through a US datacentre to be processed.

Swift’s network, known as Swift FIN, sends an average of millions of financial transaction messages between banks everyday across hundreds of countries.  

Fish said: "Over the time I have been here, volumes and users have grown consistently; our services and functionalities have increased; and the challenges and complexities have multiplied."

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