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MOORPARK, Calif. – Not many people with over 35 years of professional experience can say they’ve only been on one job interview. That’s just part of John Edwards’ story on his ride to the top of credit union data processor XP Systems. Edwards, 57, was recently named as the new president of XP Systems, a Fiserv subsidiary. Prior to that he was serving as XP’s SVP of Business Development. Edwards has been with the company since 1966. He was hired between his sophomore and junior years in college as a programmer for XP’s batch Focus product, the company’s very first core processing system. “I got married, went on my honeymoon, came back and said, `I better get a job.’ I looked at the want ads in the San Francisco Chronicle. Found an ad from a service bureau company looking for programmers. I called them and said I’m in town. Went in for about 45 minutes, and hours later I had a job,” said Edwards. And that folks was his last job interview. Edwards has been a fixture at the company, seeing the evolution of the XP core system which is now in a very exciting time with XP2. XP2 operates in a Web-enabled Windows environment with an open, relational database and the IBM pSeries as its main server. Things have really changed since the 60s said Edwards, when XP’s batch system required the processor to do much of the work manually. “There was no such thing as online back then. Credit unions would handwrite transactions throughout the day and send copies to us. We’d keypunch them, balance them, and post them to members’ accounts. Then we’d send a series of reports back to credit unions,” said Edwards. Edwards has met with virtually all of XP’s 300 clients over the years, and said watching them evolve has been amazing. “In the 70s the joke was we had six and 12 credit unions. They offered 6% on savings and 12% on loans. That was it. They did consumer lending and had simple savings accounts. They were fairly unsophisticated institutions when you compare them with large banks,” said Edwards. “Now credit unions are getting into wealth management, private banking, and commercial solutions. The interesting thing in my mind is from a DP perspective credit unions have always been much more advanced than banks, running on online, real-time systems way before banks,” said Edwards. Another major change is the sheer number of credit unions. Edwards remembers the days when there were over 24,000 credit unions, and now there’s less than 10,000. But while the numbers have declined, the assets have more than quadrupled. He has seen XP itself go through a lot of changes. Not only has he witnessed three major product changes: from batch to online to in-house, but ownership has changed hands a few times. Right now XP is part of a very large company in Fiserv. The interesting thing about Fiserv of course is that it has six credit union data processing subsidiaries. And while they all work for the same team now, historically many were arch-rivals. Edwards says there is still healthy competition between the subsidiaries. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s a very interesting dynamic, when some of your sister companies are your competitors. We have a pretty good relationship. There’s cooperation in certain areas. We certainly don’t share a lot of our ideas with each other,” said Edwards. Like other Fiserv subsidiary leaders, Edwards said one of the biggest advantages of being part of the larger company is when XP is looking to get into something new. For example when it went looking for a commercial solution, it tapped Fiserv, which has vast commercial processing experience having been in the banking sector for so long. Edwards has been a road warrior over the years, logging thousands of miles in the air and on the road to meet with clients and attend conferences – he even logged some air time getting to work. Edwards actually commuted to XP’s Moorpark, California headquarters via airplane form his home in Oregon. He will be relocated to the Moorpark area given his new position, and said he doesn’t expect to travel as much. Not only is XP going through the XP2 update process right now (which will be done via release stages), but it also is the processor for one of the largest credit union mergers ever – TRW Systems FCU with Western FCU, two $500 million CUs that will become one $1 billion-plus institution. Edwards believes the thing that distinguishes XP from other processors is its relationships with its clients. “We have what I believe is the closest relationship with our clients than any other provider,” he said. Speaking of relationships, one of the most important in his life has credit union roots. He met his wife, who is now an SVP at a Portland-based credit union, at a credit union trade show. “We’re a credit union family,” he said. [email protected]

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