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Tom Cleveland
Works at Cleveland Consulting
Attended Georgia Institute of Technology College of Engineering
Lives in Gainesville, GA
64 followers|41,618 views


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Tom Cleveland is a Senior Executive with over 25 years of experience in “C”-level executive management, corporate governance and business development positions, primarily with the Visa family of corporations. His expertise lies in financial management, business strategy development, and general consulting. His proven leadership and management skills have lead to successful outcomes while creating and implementing successful business solutions for fast-paced, innovative growth companies ranging from $2.2 billion down to $5 million in annual revenues. He is presently the owner and founder of Cleveland Consulting Services.

Since his departure from Visa in 1999, Tom has served as CFO, COO or as a senior advisor for a number of payment companies, including innovative efforts in the international payments space and in the prepaid card processing and distribution arena. Coincidentally, Tom has continued his consulting practice with a variety of major clients in the global payments industry, as well as with several early stage development companies in IT, disaster preparedness, manufacturing, and BioFuels.


Along the way, he has been instrumental in fund raising activities, corporate reorganizations, and turnaround situations, while also successfully designing, building and operating an innovative international private payments network in twenty countries in B2B, C2B and C2C cross-border payments. A noted author, his articles appear throughout the Internet on a variety of financial topics, including investments, currency trading, capital funding, general management, strategy development, and regulatory compliance.


Tom served as CFO for various Visa International entities from 1980 until 1999, retiring with the title of Group EVP and Treasurer. While at Visa, Tom was instrumental in expanding the global reach of the Visa system, building the necessary financial and cross-border settlement infrastructure to support that growth, designing and deploying global risk management processes, securing necessary regulatory approvals for existing operating standards, and assisting in the overall corporate governance of the global Visa network.


Prior to Visa, Tom served as Controller for various companies, was in public accounting, and was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.


He earned a Chemical Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and did graduate work in Finance at Georgia State University.


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Bragging rights
I have been blessed by having a wide ranging career that traveled the globe, some 40 countries at last count, but have now settled back into my roots in Georgia. My consulting practice has flourished over the past 13 years, and I have met and assisted many interesting business partners, as well as their individual business models. I have also continued my passion for the written word, contributing over 1,500 articles on the Internet on a variety of financially related topics.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology College of Engineering
    Chemical Engineering, 1966 - 1970
    Engineering, science, technology, math and analytical thinking
  • Georgia State University
    Finance, 1971 - 1973
    Finance, tax, accounting and analytical thinking
Basic Information
I am presently a general business consultant,but I describe what I do as "Financial Engineering". I use my CFO experiences and analytical abilities to help companies rise tot he next level in their evolution. In many cases, this means getting the firm "investment ready" and instituting the disciplines expected by the investment community. I also write extensively for publication on the Internet on topics ranging from financial management, the payments industry, the economy, and foreign exchange.
Working with CEO's and their management teams to build the infrastructure necessary to propel them to a hyper growth stage and beyond. Skills include all things financial, strategy development, and interpersonal relationship building.
  • Cleveland Consulting
    Owner and Founder, 2004 - present
    General business consulting with a focus on payment and start-up companies.
  • Visa
    CFO and Group EVP, 1974 - 1999
    Responsible for global financial operations, settling over $5 billion daily in over 20 currencies for the Visa system, regulatory compliance, Human Resources, Construction of 1 million SqFt office complex in four buildings, and developing the global presence of the Visa system worldwide.
  • Payment Partners
    CFO, 2000 - 2003
    Built and operated a global payment system focused on cross-border payments in 22 countries.
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Gainesville, GA
San Francisco, CA - Newport Beach, CA - Atlanta, GA - Gainesville, GA - San Rafael, CA - San Jose, CA