It poses a challenge for the incoming AmEx chairman Stephen Squeri to regain a customer like Mr. Chris Burch. Mr. Burch featured on Forbes magazine as one of the wealthiest Americans in 2014. Stephen Squeri is set to succeed Kenneth Chenault as the chief executive of American Express Co. cards. He comes in after a recent rough stretch that saw Chris Burch change his spending card to J.P Morgan Chase & Co. There, Burch was issued with a Sapphire Reserve card. The reality is that there is a growing competition especially from firms like PayPal Holdings Inc. and Silicon Valley Payments Company. It is not clear to investors how AmEx is going to deal with the ever-increasing challenges brought about by the new mobile payment approaches adopted by many companies.
In the past few years, AmEx has spent most of their time fending off rivals. The trend has worried investors who have in-turn adopted other strategies. According to Don Fandetti, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Company, Mr. Chennault departure was a good move from a stocks’ perspective. However, he noted that there were still many challenges ahead. It is expected that the first thing Mr. Squeri will do is find ways of regaining the cachet of the Am Ex brand for both the millennials and the established clients who have migrated to other institutions.
Chris Burch said that AmEx concierge was unable to get him tables on several NYC restaurants. As a result, his employees suggested the Sapphire Reserve Card that he has been using. Burch wrote to Chenault, but he was disappointed after he received an email from a customer relations representative that read like a form letter. AmEx has lost its market share to banks and card networks such as Visa Inc. According to Warren Buffet who holds most of AmEx shares through Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Losing Costco has enabled AmEx to progress. David Hochstim, an AmEx shareholder and research analyst at Clear Bridge Investments, said that AmEx strategy has shifted to rely more on lending. However, the full effects of the approach are yet to be seen. Additional article on architecturaldigest.com.
Christopher Burch is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Burch Creative Capital. He is an active investor and has distributed his investment in a variety of industries. Burch has contributed to the development of luxury brands like Voss Water and multiple technology companies. He served on the board of The Continuum Group and Guggenheim Capital.
Mr. Burch entrepreneurial skills became evident while still in college. According to bjtonline.com, in 1976, Chris and his brother Bob invested $2000 in Eagle’s Eye apparel. The business grew to a net worth of $ 165 million. Later, they sold it to the Swire Group. Mr. Burch graduated from Ithaca College. After the sale of Eagle’s Eye, he invested in Internet Capital Group. Today, he is the principal of Burch Creative capital. Read his views and insights on business, check entrepreneur.com.
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