FICO

Keeping score

Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) has been around since 1956, the result of a partnership between engineer Bill Fair and mathematician Earl Isaac.  Although the firm provides consulting services, it's actually known for its pioneering work in analytics and credit scoring.  Fair Isaac's statistics-based analytical tools are used widely in the financial and credit industries.  Its popular analytical tool, the FICO credit score, has become the standard way for lenders to calculate credit risk.  If you've ever had a credit card or taken out a loan, you've probably dealt with Fair Isaac.  Its consulting services include business strategy and organizational process consulting, in addition to traditional analytic, software and technology support consulting.  Essentially, the firm is focused on helping companies improve the way they make business decisions, from the largest to the smallest.  Fair Isaac uses data management and data analysis services to bring more information to decisions in areas such as marketing, customer management, risk and fraud.  Fair Isaac also counts nine of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies and two-thirds of the top 100 banks in the world among its clients in 80 countries.  Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., Fair Isaac has about 2,086 employees based in offices spread in 12 countries all over the globe. 

Building strategies

After the foundation of Fair, Isaac and Company, built with an initial capital of merely $800 (each founder contributed $400), in 1956, Fair Isaac created its first credit scoring system for American Investments two years later.  To market the company, on the same year (1958), Fair Isaac asked 50 biggest American credit grantors for the opportunity to demonstrate its credit scoring service.  Unfortunately, among those 50 known lenders, only one responded.  In 1963, Fair Isaac allied with Montgomery Ward by building its first credit scoring system, thus initiating the partnerships Fair Isaac built with other companies through the years.  It was in 1975 when FICO operators began using computer terminals to directly enter coded information.  On the same year, the company developed its first behavior scoring system that helps clients predict credit risk.  In the 1980s, the company launched its first FICO credit bureau risk score and expanded in Europe through its Monaco office.  Fair Isaac then went public in 1987 by issuing its stock to Nasdaq with symbol FICI before entering the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol FIC in 1996. 

Forming allies

To cater to other businesses, especially the insurance industry and the small business lenders, Fair Isaac launched the first insurance bureau score in the 1990s.  In this period, the company also undertook several acquisitions including direct marketing company DynaMark, Inc., consulting expert Credit & Risk Management Associates and enterprise-wide risk management leader Risk Management Technologies, among others.  In 1996, apart from Fair Isaac's other offices in Europe, it collaborated with German firm Schober Group Entities, and created the FICO/INFORMA Company. 

Ruling the market

Targeted acquisitions and partnerships have added new technologies to Fair Isaac's portfolio of services over the past few years, starting in 2000.  Services include its LiquidCredit, Web-based FICO Guide, e-decisioning solution ClickPremium and FICO SmartLink customer data integration services.  The company was also recognized for its pioneering services; in 2002, Forbes named it as one of the top 200 U.S. Small Companies, and BusinessWeek included it among the top 200 IT companies worldwide.  The following year, Business 2.0 ranked the company No. 19 of the 100 fastest-growing technology companies, among other recognitions it has received from other magazines.  It was also in 2003 when the company changed its name to Fair Isaac Corporation.  Through its partners and myFICO.com, Fair Isaac reached its 10-millionth score sold to U.S. customers, and marked a milestone with its 100-billionth score sold in 2007.  In 2008, it launched its industry-leading FICO Score in the Russia and India markets as it continued its acquisition of several businesses in the succeeding years.  In March 2009, Fair Isaac officially adopted the simplified brand name FICO as its corporate identity that is reflected in its company logo, website and all other company materials, but it retained its legal name Fair Isaac Corporation and its NYSE ticker symbol FIC.  The company is also a member of S&P 400 Index.  As for the current status of FICO financials, in September 2009, Fair Isaac recorded revenue of $630.7 million, quite a drop from its revenue of $744.8 million in the same period of the previous year. 

Rev ups and speed bumps

In April 2010, FICO released the newest version of its insurance fraud detector, the FICO Insurance Fraud Manager 3.1.  The newest release will combat healthcare insurance fraud and to strengthen the company's solution for detecting such problems relating to abuse and errors of claims as well as the existence of suspicious providers.  This will also assist healthcare payers to shun fraud losses.  In the same month, FICO appointed Matt Androski as vice president for sales in its American market.  A month later, FICO hit a snag when it was denied a new trial against VantageScore Solutions regarding FICO's claim that the scale of "300 to 850" rating of an individual's credit is its trademark.  The jury found that FICO falsely represented its "300 to 850" marks to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) during the registration and application process.  U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery ruled, upholding the jury's verdict in favor of VantageScore Solutions and ordered PTO to cancel FICO's "300 to 850" trademark.

▲ Show Less▼ Show Full Description


FICO


901 Marquette Avenue
Suite 3200
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 758-5200
Fax: (612) 758-5201
www.fico.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: FICO
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • CEO: William Lansing
  • 2009 Employees: 2,086

Major Office Locations

  • Minneapolis, MN

Key Financials

  • 2009 Income: $65 million
  • 2009 Revenue: $631 million

Career Update Newsletter

Tips and tools to help you manage your ideal career.