Magazine article American Banker

Card Consultant Back after Failed Election Bid

Magazine article American Banker

Card Consultant Back after Failed Election Bid

Article excerpt

After a year on the election trail, Robert Hammer is back in the credit card business.

The 44-year-old consultant took a year's hiatus from R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, Newbury Park, Calif., to bid for the seat in Congress from California's 24th District.

Mr. Hammer, a Republican, came in second in the June primary election.

'I Was Simply Outspent'

"The fact that I came in second in a five-man race has not caused me to lose faith in the system," Mr. Hammer said a month later. "I was simply outspent."

With the sound bites, endless fund-raising, and 16-hour days now behind him, Mr. Hammer has returned to the relative quiet of the business world to resume his role as chairman and chief executive at his five-year-old consulting business.

In turn, he has shifted his focus from crime and safety, jobs and the economy, to credit card portfolio acquisition and credit card profitability.

Instead of campaign stops, he travels across the country giving issuers seminars on how to keep card programs profitable as part of MasterCard International's "university" for members.

In recent years, Mr. Hammer has expanded his vision overseas -- to China, Korea, India, Singapore, and Australia. "I see a huge opportunity for issuers, as the market saturates here, to develop the international marketplace," said Mr. Hammer, who has visited 40 countries and five continents.

A Vietnam veteran, Mr. Hammer has a master's degree in organizational psychology and a bachelor of science degree in business and economics. …

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