Leadership Team

Key Profiles


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Charlie Fote, Chairman of the Board

Charlie Fote retired as Chairman and CEO of First Data in 2005 after 30 years in various ascending roles at the global electronic payments company. While CEO at First Data, he was responsible for the overall strategy and operations of the Fortune 250 company. During his tenure, he served in an assortment of roles, helping to grow First Data from a $1.2 billion U.S. spinoff to a more than $10 billion global payments powerhouse. Prior to joining First Data, Mr. Fote was Vice President of Operations for Framingham Trust.

Mr. Fote has served on numerous boards of directors over the years. He currently is Chairman of the Board of Accretive Technologies Inc. and serves on the board of Payfone. Additionally, he is a board member for the President’s Club at Colorado State University, and is head of the Travis Hukill Foundation, as well as the Fote family foundation. He also serves on the board of Project C.U.R.E., a nonprofit, humanitarian relief organization that delivers donated medical supplies, equipment and services to medical professionals and the patients under their care in developing countries. Fote also has been an active member of The Business Council, a voluntary association of national business leaders exchanging ideas to generate greater understanding of major public policy issues and to create consensus for solutions.

Nabil Abu El Ata (Founder), Chief Executive Officer

As Accretive’s founder, CEO and board member, Dr. Abu el Ata has invested over 20 years in perfecting the science behind the company’s X-Act® Optimal Business Control (OBC) Platform with over 15 patents. He offers a breadth of analytical skills, risk management and business intelligence expertise, as well as IT and business process management knowledge. Dr. Abu el Ata’s accomplishments include doctorate (Ph.D. and D.Sc. from Paris-Sorbonne) and bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and a master’s degree in Physical Sciences (Royal Observatory, Cambridge University).

He is a valued former Doctorate Fellow of the European Space Organization; former Data Processing Director and Advisor for the French Atomic Energy Authority; and former CTO of First Data. Dr. Abu el Ata is also an advisory board member of the European Strategic Program for Research in IT; a Steering Committee member for European Programs: Pyramid, Europicon and Itaqua; a advisory board member of French Employment Organization, French Ministry of Finance, French Postal Services, one of France’s largest banks (Credit Agricole) and Auchan Retail; an External Professor for a number of universities in France, the UK, and the US; Laureate of Computer World Honors 2008 and Silver winner of “Executive of the Year” Golden Bridge Award 2013.

Annie Drucbert (Co-Founder), Chief Financial Officer

Annie Drucbert is the Co-Founder of Accretive Technologies and member of its board in-charge of finance and client delivery. Drucbert is a well-recognized expert in database management and performance of complex systems. She hold 3 US patents, delivered strategic, tactical and operational services using X-Act predictive technologies to a great numbers of clients including: First Data Corp., McDonald’s, La Poste, Deutsche Bank, BNP, CLS and Reuters.

Prior to Accretive, Drucbert was part of ATT/Dataid and the team, who made possible the transformation of the French Social Security Platform. Drucbert is a Doctor of Chemistry from ENS de Chimie and Master of business administration.

Charlie O’Rourke, Board Member

Charlie O’Rourke is widely recognized as a catalyst to driving strategic business improvement and efficiency through creation and deployment of unique technical solutions to varied business challenges. He began his professional career in 1964 at IBM Corporation, where he specialized in online and real-time systems design and development. He left IBM in 1970 to form his own company, which provided online computer processing services to financial institutions.

First Data Corporation (FDC), a global leader in electronic commerce and financial services, recruited Mr. O'Rourke in 1972. Over the next 35 years, he assumed increasingly responsible and more challenging leadership roles, leveraging technology expertise balanced by unique business management acumen to promote understanding, design, installation and adoption of technologies to advance both corporate and customer business growth and expansion initiatives. Most recently, as Senior Vice President, Mr. O'Rourke served as special advisor to the Chairman & CEO and COO on efforts to create entrepreneurial units within First Data and to tie technology and product development to business goals and objectives. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Merritt M. Lutz, Board Member

Merritt M. Lutz is a Senior Advisor, Morgan Stanley. In this role, he is responsible for the development and oversight of Morgan Stanley Information Technology’s (MSIT) strategic investments, the Firm's global vendor risk assessment practice, and MSIT joint ventures. He joined Morgan Stanley & Co. in 1994 as a Managing Director in charge of the global Application Programming Group with responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Firm’s strategic worldwide software-based technology initiatives. In addition, while at the Firm, he managed the development and launch of its early Internet strategy, initiated Morgan Stanley’s offsite software development joint ventures, and built the Firm’s client technology initiatives.

Mr. Lutz is presently a Board Director for Accretive Technologies, iRise, ThruPoint Inc. and VBrick Systems. He serves as an advisor to executive management of PKWare, Socialware and Core Security. He attended Michigan State University where he earned both a Bachelors and a Masters degree.

Maurice Perks, Board Technology Adviser

Maurice J. Perks joined IBM in 1968 as a Systems Engineer. His career with IBM spanned over 44 years. Over those years, Dr. Perks has specialized in the design of IT systems for large organizations. He is a world authority on the developments of IT systems in a range of industry sectors, and particularly the financial sector. He has worked with clients across Europe and the United States. He is noted for his methodological approach which helps to understand and assess complexity of IT systems, and for taking that knowledge to design and modify them. His ability to understand real-world IT system design was recognised by IBM in 2002, when Dr. Perks became the first IBM Fellow to be appointed from within the IBM Services Division. Since 1963, only just over 200 people have been named IBM Fellows, and around 75 are still working today.

He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of IT Integration at the University of York. His sustained work on complex IT system design and his assessment of emerging IT technologies has been recognised by the Aston University, UK by the award of a Doctor of Science degree.