IT 100 Special Report 2006 >



Alliance Data Systems



Formed by the 1996 merger of J.C. Penney's credit-card processing unit and the Limited's credit-card bank operation, Alliance Data Systems has become the back office for big businesses ranging from retailer Abercrombie & Fitch to power company Green Mountain Energy. How? By processing millions of consumer purchases made on retail private-label credit cards, payments owed to big utilities—and the marketing data gleaned from many of those transactions. Today, it is the second-largest outsourcer of retail private-label credit cards, with some 90 million accounts. Its Reward Miles program in Canada has issued 2.8 billion air miles to consumers. And it's pushing its marketing services further into the Internet realm with the acquisition in April of e-mail marketer DoubleClick E-Mail Solutions. The Dallas company boosted revenues 25% in 2005, to nearly $1.7 billion,and delivered a 40.7% total return to shareholders through May 31, 2006.

Company Info

2005 Rank

Not Ranked

($ Millions)


Sales Growth
(over prev. year)

25 %

($ Millions)


Return on Equity

16.3 %

Total Return on Sales (12-mo.)


Share Price
As of 5/31/06




No. of Employees


Industry Services
*Trailing 12 months
Stock price data as of 5/31/06
DATA: Standard & Poor's Compustat

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Company Snapshot

Alliance Data Systems and its subsidiaries provide transaction services, credit services, and marketing services in North America. The company facilitates and manages interactions between its clients and customers through multiple distribution channels, including in store, catalog, and online. Its transaction services comprise issuer services, such as card processing, billing and payment processing, and customer care; utility services consisting of customer information system hosting, customer care, and billing and payment processing; and merchant services, such as point-of-sale services and merchant bank card services. Alliance Data's credit services include private-label receivables financing, which consist of underwriting and risk management, merchant processing, and receivables funding. Its marketing services comprise coalition and one-to-one loyalty programs, database marketing, and email communication solutions. The company offers its services to specialty retailers, petroleum retailers, utilities, supermarkets, and financial-services companies. Alliance Data was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Dallas.

Data provided by Capital IQ
J. Michael Parks

J. Michael Parks, 54

President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

Total Compensation


Value of Options


University of Kansas - Bachelor's Degree

J. Michael Parks serves as chairman of the board, chief executive officer, director, and president of Alliance Data Systems. Parks joined Alliance Data in March, 1997. Before then, he was president of First Data Resources, the credit-card processing and billing division of First Data, from December, 1993, to July, 1994. Parks joined First Data in July, 1976, where he gained increased responsibility for sales, service, operations, and profit and loss management during his 18 years of service. Parks holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas.

Executive Data provided by Capital IQ