The Financial Technology Report is pleased to announce the Top 25 Financial Technology CEOs of Asia for 2019. These accomplished executives were selected based on research performed by our team of editors who evaluated over 800 companies and each of their CEOs across the following attributes - product and technological strength, company organization and capabilities, management team assembled, longevity in the industry, investor backing and depth of experience, among other attributes. Please join us in recognizing the unique achievements of these exceptional leaders.
1. Abhimanyu Munjal
Company: Hero FinCorp
Abhimanyu Munjal is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hero FinCorp, one of the biggest retail and commercial loan lenders in India. Headquartered in New Delhi, the company has grown to be one of India's fastest growing NBFCs, disbursing a loan every 30 seconds. Notably, Munjal has over 15 years of experience in strategic leadership, people management and has successfully spearheaded international joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions as well as complex transformations within the company. Under the leadership of Munjal, Hero FinCorp aims to be “India’s next Generation, ultra-lean, credit champion.” During his tenure, he has seen the company go from having no disbursement processes in place to being present in more than 3,000 touch points across 1,000 cities, towns, and villages, with a team strength of 4,000 people. Guided by Hero Group’s belief of growth and nation-building, Munjal has brought financial services to customers in India without banking history. In addition to his role, he is a strong believer in leading the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators through his VC find, AdvantageEdge Partners.
2. Simon Hu
Company: Ant Financial
Simon Hu is the Chief Executive Officer at Ant Group, an innovative technology provider that aims to bring inclusive financial services to the world. Headquartered in Hangzhou, China, the company was established in 2014 originating from Alipay, the world’s largest payment and lifestyle platform. In his current role, Hu is tasked with leading the core of Alibaba's financial segments and oversees its widely used Alipay and Credit Sesame services. Before being appointed CEO, Hu was engaged in developing new businesses within Alibaba Group and started AliFinance, which provided small and micro businesses with loan services and was eventually adopted as the prototype of China’s internet finance model. Prior to this, Hu was President of Alibaba Cloud, the largest cloud computing company in Asia which is ranked third globally. Hu joined Alibaba Group in 2005 as the Founder of Ant Microloans within Ant Financial where he spent almost a decade. Before joining Alibaba, Hu held several roles at financial institutions like China Construction Bank and China Everbright Bank. There, he garnered over 10 years of experience with business and personal finance, financing for small and micro enterprises, and online credit systems.
3. Harshvardhan Lunia
Harshvardhan Lunia is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Lendingkart, a fintech startup in the working capital space. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujrat, Lendingkart has issued more than 60,000 loans to over 55,000 small and medium-sized enterprises across India since it was founded in 2014. In his current role, Lunia drives growth by designing creative credit solutions and providing these ideas to SMBs. With over 17 years of experience in the financial sector, Lunia has worked with large private sector and multinational banks within their small loan divisions. Today, he is propelled by the understanding he developed in these roles about the anxieties associated with waiting for credit decisions. Through Lunia, he created an innovative solution to disrupt the sector. Ultimately, it’s his hope to incorporate big data credit scoring with analytics and artificial intelligence. Before Lendingkart, Lunia was the Founder and Director of Domestic Finance & Investment, Relationship Manager of Investment and Corporate Banking for the UK and Germany at ICICI Bank, and City Manager for SME Banking. He began his career as a Small Business Relationship Manager at HDFC Bank.
4. Sergey Sedov
Company: Robocash Group
Sergey Sedov is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Robocash, a group of companies that issues microloans in Singapore, Spain, Russia, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Founded in 2013, the company operates non-bank lending with a focus on consumer lending both online and offline as well as marketplace funding. Notably, Robocash is financed through its own assets, with no banks or investment funds involved. In fact, there is currently no board of directors or advisors. Prior to establishing Robocash, Sedov founded Prestamer S.L.U., a fully automated online lending service. He's also the Founder of LLP Zaimer, MFC Zaymer, and MCC ProstoDENGI. These are all part of the international holding Robocash Group. Sedov founded his first IT company in 2002 when he was still studying at university. After gaining experience and newfound confidence in the real estate, commerce, and production markets, he raised enough money to co-found the lending company, FinTerra. This company marked the start of Robocash.
5. Sreekanth Nadella
Company: KFin Technologies
Sreekanth Nadella is the Chief Executive Officer of KFin Technologies, one of India's largest registrars and a market leader in the investor servicing industry. Headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana the company was founded in 1978 and has since grown to service over 90 million investor accounts spread over 1300 issuers including banks, PSUs and mutual funds. As the CEO of KFin, Nadella leads pioneering financial services for over 60% of mutual fund houses in India and several AMCs in South East Asian economies. A trained Chartered Accountant, Nadella brings 20 years of experience to the role, spanning leadership across finance, operations, IT & ITES, strategy consulting, transformation, and delivery across diverse industries. He joined the company as Chief Operating Officer in 2018. Prior to joining KFin, Nadella was the Chief Operating Officer at CallHealth, India's leading home healthcare service provider. Before this he was a Managing Director at Accenture, Senior Transition Manager at Capita, Deliver Lead and Transition Manager at IBM Global Services, Finance Manager at Indian School of Business and began his career as a Management Trainee at K&S Chartered Accountants.
6. Mike Kayamori
Mike Kayamori is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Quoine, a global cryptocurrency company. Also known as Liquid Global, Quoine was founded in 2014 and has continued to solve the liquidity problems that have surfaced with crypto investments. With its Liquid platform, the company uses World Book technology to ensure that all markets receive ample liquidity. This will eventually be extended to a global network of crypto exchanges. Kayamori has over 20 years of experience in investments, business management, IT and venture capital across Japan, the United States, India and Southeast Asia, with roles at Mitsubishi, Globespan Capital, and Softbank Group. He was also previously the Chief Investment Officer at GungHo Asia Pacific. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Law from University of Tokyo, before completing an MBA at Harvard, Mike brings a vast range of experience that spans business, management, and investment within the technology and telecommunication sectors.
7. Joey Kim
Country: South Korea
Joey Kim is the Founder and CEO of PeopleFund, South Korea's fastest growing marketplace lender. Founded in 2015, the company is creating better alternative investment opportunities through their tech-driven platform. Recently, the company became the first peer-to-peer lending platform to start offering its investment products directly on KakaoTalk, Korea’s most popular messaging app which is used by 93% of smartphone owners in South Korea. Prior to founding PeopleFund in 2015, Joey was a venture capitalist working at Softbank Ventures, focusing on the internet/mobile industry. Previously, Joey started his career with the Corporate Finance team at Macquarie Securities' Investment Banking Division. After his experience in banking, Joey spent five years in management consulting at Bain & Company, conducting multiple corporate M&A, vision and portfolio strategy, and operation re-engineering projects, from both the Seoul and Boston office. Joey is also currently serving as the President of the Korean FinTech Industry Association, an organization established for the advancement and growth of the fintech and Korean P2P finance industry. The association is currently made up of nearly 300 Korean FinTech companies ranging from payment services, blockchain, P2P lending, crowdfunding, and Insurer Tech, among other technologies.
8. Long Hsiang Loh
Long Hsiang Loh is the Chief Executive Officer at Dianrong, a leader in online marketplace lending in China. Headquartered in Shanghai, Dianrong has provided small businesses and individuals comprehensive financial information and services supported by industry-leading technology, compliance, and transparency since 2012. Loh joined the company in 2015, as Chief Operating Officer where he was responsible for the daily operations and management of the company before being appointed CEO in 2017. Prior to joining Dianrong, Loh spent 18 years with Standard Chartered Bank, where he held several global as well as local leadership positions. As Global Head of Markets & Institutional Risk Management and Chief Credit Officer, Global Markets, he played a pivotal role in helping the bank navigate through the Global Financial Crisis. Loh was previously the Chief Credit Officer of the Wholesale Bank. Before this he had also been the General Manager of the Shanghai Branch, before serving as Deputy CEO of Standard Chartered China, where he oversaw overall corporate strategy, business expansion, human resources, risk management, and administrative affairs.
9. Lei Sun
Company: 9F Group
Lei Sun is the Co-Founder and CEO of 9F Group, a Chinese fintech platform that has more than 68 million registered users. Founded in 2006, 9F offers its users comprehensive financial services including big data risk management technologies. Sun has been the CEO of 9F since its inception, was appointed as Director in 2014, and became Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2017. With over 15 years of experiences across the financial services industry, Sun has played a pivotal role in growing the company’s portfolio of brands, including the 9F Onecard, 9F Wallet, Wukong Wealth, 9F Primasia Securities, 9FChaoneng (3C at POS), Lab Fenqi (Education), and Wecash. Prior to founding 9F, Sun was a Senior Manager at China Minsheng Bank and oversaw internet financing products at Digital China Group. Before this, he was the Director of Banking Services at Taihe Chengxin Investment Co and Head of Financial Services at Hi Sun Technology. He is also Secretary-General of Finance Association in Guanghua School of Management.
10. William Li
William Li is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Akulaku, a financial services provider for the urban working class in the SEA market. Headquartered in Jakarta, Akulaku (formerly Silvrr) was founded in 2014 and today its e-commerce platform offers online services that span cardless shopping, cash loans, bill payments, mobile and game top ups as well as travel and leisure packages. The startup offers three major services – online credit, wealth management, and digital banking. With more than six million users and counting, Akulaku’s current annual transaction value stands at over $1.5 billion. Today, Akulaku is the largest online financing company in Southeast Asia and the first online mobile installment application with operations in the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Impassioned by his goal to make banking affordable, Li looks to the internet to reduce costs and achieve a breakthrough in mobile banking and card issuance. Before Akulaku, Li was an Investment Manager at Ping An Insurance, and an Associate at King & Wood Mallesons.
11. Takao Asayama
Company: Tech Bureau
Takao Asayama is the Chief Executive Officer at Tech Bureau, the Japanese startup offering cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Established in 2014, the company uses exchange API to handle currency encryption. When compared with other countries, Japan has been slow to adopt cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and Asayama intends to change this with Zaif's services. In 2019, Tech Bureau launched Zaif, a cryptocurrency exchange that handles Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Monacoin, Japan’s largest crypto currency. Upon launching, Zaif gained 2,000 users in the first 48 hours and 1,500 additional users by the end of the first month. The company also has its own private blockchain product, mijin. Asayama balances his role at Tech Bureau with being a member of the Singapore-based NEM Foundation, which is behind the cryptocurrency. Previously, Asayama was the Chief Executive Officer at Overtex for 23 years and the Chief Executive Officer of 4D Matrix.
12. Satish Kumar Gupta
Company: Paytm Payments Bank
Satish Kumar Gupta is the Chief Executive Officer of Paytm Payments Bank, a mobile-first bank with zero balance-zero digital transaction charge accounts. Launched in 2017, the Noida, Uttar Pradesh-based company is proudly Indian-owned and run. As a veteran of the banking and payments industry, Gupta has experienced the disruption and growth that the Indian economy witnessed in promoting digital payments over almost four decades. Prior to joining Paytm, Gupta was the Director of One97 Communications, where he oversaw the enhancement of payment infrastructure, public policy, and designing a strategy for growth. Before this he was the Chief Project Officer at the National Payments Corporation of India, which manages payment products like Unified Payments Interface. There, he created the country’s own cards, RuPay launched in 2012. He was also pivotal in launching several digital payments and financial inclusion products in coordination with the government. Gupta was the former Deputy General Manager at State Bank of India where he worked for over three decades.
13. Shengqiang Chen
Company: JD Digits
Shengqiang Chen is the Chief Executive Officer at JD Digits, the Chinese company connecting financial and physical industries with digital technology. Founded in 2013, the Beijing-based company (formerly JD Finance) has been helping the industry improve the way it uses the internet to accelerate digitization. Chen joined JD Finance as its Chief Financial Officer, where he oversaw the company’s financial management structure, optimized its management integration while boosting its investments and financing platforms. He was appointed CEO of JD Digits in 2013, tasked with the establishment and development of the new internet finance business. Under his leadership, the company has become a global leader in data processing, in part due to its implementation of advanced data technology, with AI and IoT among the company's core strengths. The company has six labs across China and the US, including its Silicon Valley AI Lab. With over 15 years of experience in financing and accounting management, Chen has excelled while holding several prominent roles at the company.
14. Guang Zhu
Company: Du Xiaoman Financial
Guang Zhu is the Chief Executive Officer of Du Xiaoman Financial, the fintech arm of Baidu the Chinese search engine. Formerly Baidu Finance, the Beijing-based company was established in 2013 and provides short-term loans and investment services. Zhu has a vision for the future of the company: "In the coming age of fintech, Du Xiaoman will leverage the technological capabilities of Baidu AI to partner with financial institutions and provide technology-driven, trustworthy financial services to consumers in China. Since joining Baidu in 2008, Zhu was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2016 and served in several roles. During his tenure, he has overseen the company's financial products and operations, as well as its marketing, government relations, brand strategies, and has been responsible for Baidu’s internal and external communication initiatives. He remains as the Senior Vice President of Baidu, General Manager of FSG in addition to his role as CEO. Before joining Badu, Zhu was the Senior Director of Public Relations and Integration Promotion for Lenovo Group in China.
15. Leon Li
Leon Li is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Huobi, a leading global blockchain company. Established in 2013, the Singapore company has become one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges with an accumulated trading volume of $1 trillion. Huobi Group currently includes Huobi Global, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, as well as numerous other upstream and downstream businesses in the digital asset ecosystem. These include Huobi Japan, Huobi Korea, Huobi Capital, Huobi Labs, Huobi DM, and others. As an alumnus of Tsinghua University’s Department of Automation, Leon became an early pioneer in the field of fintech. Before establishing Huobi Group in 2013 and building it into one of the world’s leading providers of financial services in digital assets, Leon was a computer engineer at Oracle, the world’s largest database provider. In 2019, Li was named Chairman of the Board, CEO, and Executive Director of the Board for the electronics company, Plantronics Holdings. There, Li utilized his skills and experience to facilitate the management of the company and help Plantronics explore potential new opportunities. Huobi acquired a controlling stake of Pantronics in September of 2018.
16. Deddy Oktomeo
Deddy Oktomeo is the Chief Executive Officer of KinerjaPay, an Indonesian IT consulting company. After spending the past 17 years with the company, it's safe to say that Oktomeo has gained expertise in a range of areas, including product design and development, operations, sales support, and marketing and finance. Founded in 2010, the Medan Indonesia-based company is best known for its platform, KinerjaPay IP, an e-wallet service for bill transfers and online shopping; and allows top-up phone credit for users. Oktomeo’s ability to consistently deliver strong results has garnered him a reputation as a one-of-a-kind CEO. Armed with a deep understanding of how IT companies work, his agile leadership style has been vital to the success of KinerjaPay. Prior to this, Oktomeo was the Chief Technical Officer at Azec Indonesia Management Services where he was responsible for developing enterprise resource planning systems for major shipping, pharmaceutical and telco companies. He also served as the company’s chief executive officer.
17. Daisuke Sasaki
Daisuke Sasaki is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive officer of Freee, the leading pioneer of cloud-native, integrated ERP software solutions for SMBs. Founded in 2013, the Japan-based company is an automated online accounting software that syncs with users’ bank accounts and automatically categorizes entries to create financial reports. Today, it is used by over 200,000 businesses across Japan. It’s a freemium service, allowing users to share and manage the accounting records of a company with other colleagues. What makes Freee a success boils down to Sasaki taking a risk - by Japanese standards - and relying entirely on inbound sales, focusing on marketing and social media to generate demand and often simply refusing requests for sales. It paid off, and now the company's user base is booming. Previously, Sasaki was the Head of APAC SMB Marketing at Google and helped Asian SMBs to adopt Google’s ads product. Before his tenure at Google, he was the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Product Management at ALBERT, a Japanese recommendation engine startup, Private Equity Investment Analyst at CLSA Capital Partners Japan and an Account Planner at Hakuhodo.
18. Kim Tae-hoon
Country: South Korea
Kim Tae-hoon is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rainist, one of the fastest growing money management startups in South Korea. Founded in 2012, Rainist launched BankSalad in 2014, an app that offers an open banking platform for customers by pooling a user's financial information from different banks and financial companies. The all-in-one money management service also recommends credit cards and other financial products based on an individual’s financial situation and spending habits. The app tracks expenses, income, bills and savings, making budgeting simple. To further serve his mission of preventing retail financial consumers from being marginalized in South Korea, Kim launched an online magazine on the BankSalad website that offers financial tips to boost consumers‘ profit and minimize cash losses. Former owner of a street food vendor, Kim founded Rainist by manually compiling a list of financial products from each company. Today, BankSalad is being used by millions.
19. Sameer Nigam
Sameer Nigam is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at PhonePe, a mobile payments app that allows users to transfer money instantly to anyone. Founded in 2015, the Bengaluru, Karnataka-based company is passionate about making digital payments so easy that people never carry cash or cards again. Under Nigam's leadership, the company has developed partnerships with UPI, Visa, and Mastercard as it anticipates to take the company into different markets globally. With almost 20 years of experience, Nigam has created a highly scalable and flexible technology-driven solution for startups and internet businesses. Before establishing PhonePe, Nigam was at Flipkart.com for almost 4 years where he held several roles, initially as Vice President of Business Development, then as Vice President of Marketing, and finally as Senior Vice President of Engineering. Previously, he was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mime360, a next-generation digital distribution platform solution. Before this he was the Director of Search Product Development at Shopzilla, now known as Connexity.
20. Sanghoon Seo
Company: Honest Fund
Country: South Korea
Sanghoon Seo is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Honest Fund, a financial technology company operating an alternative investing platform in South Korea. Honest Fund is one of the largest and fastest growing marketplace lending companies in South Korea with more than $300 million in cumulative loans. Founded in 2015, the company provides individuals and institutional investors access to alternative investment opportunities across a wide range of asset classes, such as residential and commercial real estate, infrastructure financing, and unsecured personal loans. Seo is responsible for business development, strategy development, and company-wide management at Honest Fund. Previously, he was a Business Analyst at Collaborative Fund, an early stage venture capital firm helping creative businesses and was an early investor of Kickstarter, Genius, Lyft, Hampton Creek and other notable companies. Before this he was a Software Developer Intern at Samsung SDS, a Consulting Team Leader at Prepay Nation, an Intern at McKinsey & Company, and an Aircraft Controller at the Air Force Operation Command Center in the Republic of Korea Air Force.
21. Kazuhisa Shibayama
Kazuhisa Shibayama is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WealthNavi, a robo-advisor which makes fully-automated, world-class wealth management services accessible to everybody. Founded in 2015, the Japanese company offers a platform, which uses risk management algorithms for providing asset management advice. Since its inception, WealthNavi has accumulated over $600 million worth of assets under management with more than 50,000 accounts. With almost 15 years of experience, Shibayama has a wide range of experience in cross-departmental project development with the Japanese and UK governments. Prior to founding WealthNavi, Shibayama spent four years at McKinsey across its Tokyo and New York offices. There, he advised financial institutions and other corporations on strategies for growth, cost-cutting and streamlining operations. The idea for WealthNavi dawned upon Shibayama while working for McKinsey in New York. He noticed how investors in the US prefer to put their money in the stock exchange, either through mutual funds or direct investments, but that trait isn’t exhibited in Japanese society. WealthNavi was started with the hope of informing the current Japanese generation on how to invest their money Prior to McKinsey, he spent nine years working for the Japanese Ministry of Finance and the UK Treasury, where his work ranged from tax system reform and budget preparation to banking system stabilization and multilateral trade negotiations.
22. Maxim Chernuschenko
Maxim Chernuschenko is the Chief Executive Officer of Cashwagon, a fintech company that provides access to a broad range of consumer financial products. Founded in 2017, the Singapore-based company has an established list of satellite projects in Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Malaysia. With more than 7 million registered users on the platform, Cashwagon’s mobile app has accumulated over 4 million downloads. Chernuschenko has more than 20 years of experience in leading global banks and is thus regarded as a visionary leader with extensive industry expertise. Previously, Chernuschenko was the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Doctor Cash, the first pan-Asian online microfinance company, aiming to disrupt the Asian microfinance market through online client acquisition and servicing and transparent pricing. Prior to this, he was the Chief Executive Officer of VPBank, Vietnam’s largest point-of-sale company, and it was in this role he saw gaps in the market where people were being underserved. From here, he decided to establish Cashwagon. Chernuschenko has also held several roles at MTS Bank, National Bank Trust, OPT Bank, Russian Standard Bank, and Capital One.
23. Chung Chun Lim
Chung Chun Lim is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iFAST, a wealth management fintech platform that combines financial solutions with the capacity of a licensed financial institution to provide multi-product offerings. The company offers access to over 9,400 investment products including funds, bonds, Singapore Government Securities, stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), as well as insurance products and services including discretionary portfolios, research and investment seminars, fintech solutions, investment administration and transaction services. Lim co-founded the Singapore-based company in 2001 after the launch of the B2C division of Fundsupermart.com in Singapore in 2000. Lim has been pivotal in the company’s regional expansion efforts, and under his leadership, iFAST has extended its presence beyond Singapore into Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and India and built a well-established fintech ecosystem across the five markets. Most notably, Lim successfully led iFAST to a successful listing on the SGX-ST Mainboard in 2014. Before founding iFAST, Lim was the Head of Research at ING Barings Securities.
24. Yoo Chang-Hun
Country: South Korea
Yoo Chang-Hun is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SsenStone, a South Korean company specializing in fintech, authentication and cybersecurity. Founded in 2015, the Seoul-based company started with its first product, a 2-way dynamic key matching algorithm. Since then SsenStone has won a slew of prizes, has become FIDO UAF and FIDO2 certified and accumulated an impressive list of government clients. In 2018, Chang-Hun founded swIDCH where he is also currently the Chief Executive Officer. The technology company aims to eliminate CNP fraud through its patented algorithm. In less than two years, swIDCH has attained 19 patents across six countries. Chang-Hun has over 20 years of security field expertise and is also a seasoned ISO expert who owns over 130 patents. Previously, he was the Head of Security Solutions at MarkAny, the world-class leader in DRM and watermarking technology, overseeing 2,000 clients’ data security. Before this he was the Vice President of DreamToReality, Founder and CEO of Unistreet.com, and Assistant Manager at Samsung Heavy Industries.
25. Zac Cheah
Company: Pundi X