American Express Launches Advisory Services Arm

American Express has created a global advisory services unit within the company's Business Travel division. The new Advisory Services organization will span Business Travel's four operating regions and align nearly 200 professionals to strengthen the division's client management servicing capabilities. Advisory Services will provide an end-to-end solution to help companies of all sizes optimize their investment in air, car, hotel and meetings spend. Andy McGraw, senior vice president, general manager, of North America for American Express Business Travel, says, "The new Advisory Services unit will be laser focused on providing the insights and capabilities required to deliver tangible ROI in the form of purchase and process savings, as well as heightened program controls." Advisory Services will globalize and integrate policy management, strategic sourcing and process management-areas that had previously operated individually within defined geographies. American Express has tapped Mike Streit, vice president, Advisory Services, American Express Business Travel, to manage Advisory Services. Streit says, "Early sales for the newly unified operations reflect a 23 percent increase for the annual quarterly period ended March 31." The move integrates Business Travel's existing Policy and Online Adoption consulting groups, as well as the eCLIPSE and Corporate Meetings Solutions brands, industry experts and technology innovations into the new Advisory Services organization. eCLIPSE was acquired through the acquisition of Rosenbluth International in 2003, and served as the travel procurement specialists for American Express Business Travel. The new Advisory Services unit will perform all eCLIPSE agreements going forward.