Management Team

Philip Fayer, President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Fayer founded Pivotal Payments in 2003 to make payment processing more accessible to small and mid-sized businesses. The company has since expanded to provide merchant services to large corporations, chains and franchises. Today, Pivotal Payments serves more than 90,000 merchants in North America and has 550 employees and processes over US$15 billion in annual transaction volume.

Mr. Fayer’s leadership is broadly recognized, having been named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2009 as well as receiving the Ernst & Young award for Emerging Business in 2003. Under his leadership, the organization was a finalist for the top 50 best managed companies in Canada by Deloitte and Touche.

Lester Fernandes, Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Fernandes is Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Pivotal Payments. He began at Pivotal in 2003 as a member of the original management team.  Mr. Fernandes has more than 15 years’ experience in banking and served previously as Managing Director, Corporate & Investment Banking, BMO Nesbitt Burns, a subsidiary of Bank of Montreal. Before that, he worked in structured financing with Bankers Trust, NY.  Mr. Fernandes is responsible for the financial, administrative and legal affairs for the Pivotal group of companies and has successfully contributed to the growth of Pivotal through both its organic and acquisition strategies over the years. 

Mr. Fernandes is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and Association for Financial Professionals. He serves as a Board member of Pivotal Payments and Rideau Recognition Solutions. He has a B.Sc. (McMaster University), MBA (McGill University), ALM (Harvard University), and a Post Graduate Diploma in Strategy & Innovation (Oxford University).

Keith Birdsong, Chief Technology Officer

Keith Birdsong is responsible for Pivotal Payments’ Information Technology services. This includes the operation and enhancement of the back office, processing systems and network infrastructure. He is responsible for the overall technology direction and leadership of the network and development teams.

Mr. Birdsong has more than 25 years of IT experience in a variety of technical and leadership roles with a number of organizations, including Torchmark Corporation, Heartland Payment Systems and Electronic Data Systems. Prior to joining Pivotal Payments, Mr. Birdsong was the Director of Software Development at Torchmark Corporation.

Linda Straub, Senior Vice-President, Risk Management

Ms. Straub leads a team of risk, underwriting and loss prevention professionals at Pivotal Payments. As a seasoned payments executive who has worked for national and international merchant acquirers, she has extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of Merchant Acquiring Operations specializing in risk mitigation and regulatory compliance. Ms. Straub's successes are in building policies, processes and procedures resulting in improved customer service levels and operational efficiencies.

Ed Garcia, Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Garcia leads Pivotal Payments’ Operations and Customer Service functions. He has more than 25 years of experience managing operations and technologies in the payments industry and is recognized for his great leadership skills, coupled with the ability to consolidate and optimize processes and systems. Before joining Pivotal Payments, Mr. Garcia led similar functions at Vantiv and Total System Services Inc. (TSYS). Prior to that, he held senior positions at Citigroup, American Express and Visa International.

Allan Lacoste, Senior Vice-President

Mr. Lacoste is responsible for managing the overall growth of Pivotal’s North American sales divisions. As a bankcard industry veteran with over 20 years of leadership experience, he has proven track record of tactical sales, marketing and strategic partnerships.

Mr. Lacoste has partnered with and consulted for many of the biggest names in the merchant services industry. Prior to joining Pivotal, he served as ISO Director at Total Merchant Services, heading up the ISO and Sales Partner Channel.

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