Lisa Wilhelm is Founder/Managing Partner of Global Payments Experts llc. (GPE), a U.S.-based financial services industry niche consulting firm specializing in SME/consumer banking and credit risk management, digital SME finance and marketplace lending, payments product innovation, risk/reward optimization and value creation, and starting/scaling new companies and lines of business serving clients worldwide since 1998. GPE’s unique blend of deep domain expertise, experience, proven results, and unparalleled access to global best practices has brought $100s of millions in recurring annual earnings improvements to over 50 of the world’s top financial institutions and payments industry leaders in diverse country markets across the U.S., Latin America, Asia, and Europe.
Ms. Wilhelm has 20 years of executive and 17 years of consulting experience. She specializes in retail banking risk/reward optimization and value creation; SME banking and credit management; P2P/marketplace lending; payments products; credit/fraud risk life cycle management; innovative credit scoring; and risk-based segmentation and pricing. As SVP of Wells Fargo, Ms. Wilhelm pioneered the industry’s first successful transfer of credit scoring and credit card business model principles to Retail consumer and small business deposit portfolios, products, and channels. She also conceived and launched over 40 new fraud detection and prevention programs, including predictive decision and AI technology solutions. As a founder and Board Director for Primary Payments Systems, Inc. (a U.S. shared bank risk information bureau now called Early Warning), her intellectual capital and thought leadership catalyzed the creation of a high value products engine that fueled company growth from 0 to 70 percent national market share in 5 years.
At Wells Fargo, the 3rd largest U.S. bank by assets and 1st in small business lending, Ms. Wilhelm originated and managed the Risk Management Division responsible for consumer and small business risk management strategies, the overdraft lending P&L, and operations in all physical and remote channels for 11 million Retail accounts. She delivered over $500 million in recurring annual direct expense savings, and revenue to expense ratio improvements on multiple fronts, bolstered by a successful track record innovating, delivering, and scaling products, services, and operations. Ms. Wilhelm’s continuous improvement of and competitive advantage in differentiation between good and bad customers and likely prospects from unlikely ones enabled Wells Fargo to bring risk-differentiated value to customers at all points of transaction, acquisition, and product cross-sell.
Ms. Wilhelm reengineered, centralized, and managed collections; recoveries; fraud investigations and customer dispute management; loss analysis, accounting, and reporting; and loss prevention operations and strategies for Wells Fargo’s Retail loan and deposit portfolios and item processing support operations. She also led the design and integration of innovative, multi-media risk reduction communications and incentive-based training programs for sales and service employees in all distribution channels. Finally, she reinvented her Division’s processes and operations through the massively complex First Interstate merger
Before originating the Risk Management Division in 1990, Ms. Wilhelm managed authorizations, fraud risk management, customer disputes, and accounting for Wells Fargo’s credit card portfolio, including directing a large- scale project to bring authorizations and payment processing in house from an outside processor. For seven years, she also managed Wells Fargo’s debit card portfolio (the 2nd largest U.S. debit card issuer) and ATM/POS networks, including launching and managing the PLUS, Interlink, and STAR shared payments networks, customer service, and other debit card operations. She also served on various Visa and MasterCard operating committees.
Well-known in the financial services industry for establishing Wells Fargo’s reputation as the leader in the payment risk field, Ms. Wilhelm serves as a Board Advisor to Penta (a start up online bank) in Germany and SMESPro (an SME credit information start up) in Cameroon. She also served on the Board of Directors of iPeopleFINANCE (an early US P2P lender) and the Advisory Board to Cydelity (an online fraud detection firm), has appeared on NBC DateLine and CNN, and has been widely quoted in news media and industry trade journals. A lifetime advocate of human rights and free market economies, Ms. Wilhelm travels and consults extensively in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Russia, and is a volunteer with the FSVC. She also served as International Co-Chair for Aid to Soviet Dissident Women and Children from 1986 to 1991 and was the editor, research associate, and photographer for Hitler’s Death Camps: the Sanity of Madness, a Holocaust history book published in 1981. Ms. Wilhelm is an alumnus of the CBA Graduate School of Retail Bank Management at the University of Virginia, the University of Maine, La Sorbonne in France, and the Goethe Institute in Germany. She lives in Marin County, California.