A Year in Fintech: 2020’s Movers and Shakers

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It’s been a challenging year for many with rising unemployment, furlough and redundancies aplenty – but there’s also been a number of high-profile appointments. Here’s our pick of 10 of the most notable fintech hires – and exits – of the last 12 months.

Richard Davies

Richard Davies

Banking veteran Davies departed Revolut for Allica

Revolut’s loss was Allica’s gain

In July, Allica Bank revealed the appointment of Richard Davies as CEO. He joined the business bank from Revolut, where he led the group’s global banking proposition.

Davies replaced Allica’s outgoing CEO, Mark Stephens, who retired after a financial career spanning more than 40 years.

Davies previously held senior commercial banking roles at HSBC, TSB, and Barclays, and was the first chief executive of OakNorth Bank. He remains a non-executive director at Revolut.

Citi appoints Fraser as CEO

Jane Fraser

Jane Fraser

Meanwhile, it was announced in September that Jane Fraser, Citigroup’s president, will replace Michael Corbat as chief executive as he retires after eight years.

Fraser will become the first woman to lead a major financial institution in the United States when she takes the reins at Citigroup, the country’s third-largest bank, In February.

Speaking at Singapore’s FinTech Festival in December, Fraser discussed how important it is to recognise that innovation is coming from a lot more smaller entrepreneurs and the importance of working with fintechs.

Mariano Dima

Mariano Dima

Mariano Dima, president & board director, Soldo

Dima joins Soldo

Soldo, the pay and spend automation platform for business, appointed seasoned fintech exec Mariano Dima as president and board director in November.

The former chief marketing officer & executive vice president of Visa Europe, also previously worked at HomeAway/Expedia, Vodafone and PepsiCo.

Soldo’s founder and CEO Carlo Gualandri said: “Mariano’s background in high growth categories, product innovation and market expansion will allow us to scale up the delivery of our innovative platform at a time when they are needed most.”

Moritz Klarna

Moritz Klarna

Moritz is Klarna’s new chairman

Moritz named Klarna chair

In early December, Michael Moritz was named chairman of Swedish fintech Klarna. Moritz, previously partner at Sequoia Capital, has served on the Klarna board since 2010.

As well as Moritz, Klarna also added Omid R. Kordestani, former executive chairman of Twitter,  Lise Kaae of Bestseller Group,and Sarah Smith, a senior advisor at Goldman Sachs, to its board.

Current chairman Jon Kamaluddin and board member Sarah McPhee will resign.

Scott Weller

Scott Weller

Curve’s CFO Scott Weller

Curve lands first CFO

Fintech Curve hired former PayPal exec Scott Weller as its first finance boss in July.

Weller started his career in Blackrock’s private equity group before joining PayPal as a finance director.

“Scott’s experience taking teams and businesses like ours to the next level, in addition to his unique knowledge of the payments landscape, make him the ideal candidate to lead our finance function and advance Curve’s mission to converge the fragmented world of money,” said Shachar Bialick, founder and chief executive of Curve.

Margaret Franco

Margaret Franco

Finastra’s CMO, Margaret Franco

Franco for Finastra

In June, Finastra unveiled Margaret Franco as its new chief marketing officer.

Before joining the London-based fintech, she was senior vice president of EMEA Marketing at Dell Technologies.

Margaret said: “Finastra’s work towards an open future in financial services, combined with the acceleration of its open FusionFabric.cloud platform to connect the market, fuel innovation and create new levels of financial inclusion and opportunity, is visionary.”

Gordon in surprise move from First Direct

Joe Gordon

Joe Gordon

Joe Gordon jumped ship to Heyman

In May, Joe Gordon caused a stir as he left his role as CEO with First Direct to work on upcoming challenger bank brand Yuu, part of Heyman AI Limited.

Gordon had become the youngest boss of a major UK bank when he was appointed head of First Direct in 2017. He now has the title of head of retail banking at Heyman AI Limited.

Chris Pitt, head of marketing at HSBC UK, was named Gordon’s replacement at First Direct in September.

Paul Rippon

Paul Rippon

Paul Rippon with his alpacas

From Monzo to alpaca farm to GBB

In January, Monzo co-founder Paul Rippon quit the online bank to farm alpacas on a farm in Northumberland with his wife.

Fast forward six months and Rippon was unveiled as non-executive chair of GBB, one of the UK’s aspiring challenger banks.

“While I needed time to recharge, I said I intended to come back to banking,” said Rippon.

Prior to Monzo, Rippon worked at UK challenger Starling Bank after roles at Lloyds Bank and Allied Irish Bank (AIB).

Omnio Rachael Lord Chief Product Officer

Omnio Rachael Lord Chief Product Officer

Omnio’s Rachael Lord

Omnio hires Lord

Also in November, banking-as-a-service platform Omnio appointed Rachael Lord as chief product officer.

Lord previously served 10 years at Barclays and two years as chief product officer at Vive.

She will be handling the strategy and development of products and services of Omnio.

Harris joins Dwolla

Brady Harris

Brady Harris

Dwolla hired Brady Harris as CEO

Payments platform Dwolla unveiled Brady Harris as its new CEO in March.

Harris joined Dwolla from payments provider Payscape, replacing founder Ben Milne.

Dwolla said former Payscape president, Harris, was hired in order to shape Dwolla’s future of programmable payments and increase revenue.

Milne remained with Dwolla to support the company in multiple capacities, including as a member of the board.

Look back on all our Bi-Weekly News Roundups here.

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