The Financial Technology Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 FinTech Product Executives of 2021. The leaders featured on this year's list represent some of the brightest minds at the helm of some of the most influential tech companies in the world. Klarna's David Fock, for example, is responsible for synthesizing daily input from a broad spectrum of industry specialists at the now $45 billion company. Meanwhile, Gilles BianRosa oversees the entire product portfolio and ongoing tech innovations created by Berlin-based digital bank N26, now Germany's second-largest lender.
This year's awardees come from a diverse set of geographical backgrounds, including South Africa, Sweden, Poland, as well as other countries. What they all have in common, however, is an ability to collaborate and involve input from a wide range of disciplines and stakeholders — whether that be from marketing professionals, engineers, distributors, designers, or the customers themselves — in order to increase wider market adoption, expand growth, and, in some cases, catalyze industry disruption.
As in years past, our goal is to celebrate the leaders whose achievement in the field of financial technology deserves to be recognized. When appraising each nominee, we paid particular attention to specific areas where they demonstrated unique product vision, the ability to manage across functional teams, and business acumen, among other areas. Please join us in recognizing The Top 25 FinTech Product Executives of 2021.
1. Tyler Derr, Broadridge
Title: Chief Technology and Product Officer
Tyler Derr, Chief Technology and Product Officer at Broadridge, runs technology on a global basis for divisions in the company’s Global Technology and Operations business. At Broadridge, Derr is developing a transformational program to renovate its existing technology capabilities and revamp it into a digital and services framework. At the same time, he is leading the revitalization of the company’s technical talent and the processes used to manage its technology. With this in mind, Derr is helping to create a more agile, client-facing deployment method for its solutions.
Derr was the first to fill the CTO role when he joined Broadridge in 2012. He has also served as chief administrative officer. Prior to joining Broadridge, Derr worked in private equity for various holding partners and was the CTO for the global tax business of H&R Block. He attended the University of Central Missouri and earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics.
2. David Fock, Klarna
Title: Chief Product Officer
For more than a decade, Chief Product Officer David Fock has been a driving force behind the success of Klarna. Founded in 2005, the company is now one of the world's largest private fintechs, with a staggering valuation of over $45 billion. Initially, Fock joined the Klarna team as a local sales lead. He then diligently worked his way up the corporate ranks with his unique way of blending high-level technical skills with an understanding of market behavior. Today, Fock is based in Klarna's Stockholm, Sweden headquarters. There, he is responsible for all product-related matters at the company, such as making sure that Klarna continues to build stellar offerings that drive sustainable value for the business.
Before Klarna, Fock found success at Clarion Bilstereo AB, where he served as CEO for two years. He is also credited with launching a firm called HML Systems AB. Before that, Fock began his professional career with a ten-year tenure at Multi Dynamic Systems Of Sweden AB.
3. Gilles BianRosa, N26
Title: Chief Product Officer
In March 2021, digital-only bank platform N26 revealed that it was strengthening its tenured executive leadership team by bringing on Gilles BianRosa as its new Chief Product Officer. At N26, BianRosa is based in Berlin, Germany and responsible for defining, guiding, and implementing the firm’s product strategy. To support these efforts, he leads all product teams based across the company’s main offices in New York, Berlin, Vienna, Barcelona, and Vienna. Founded in 2013, N26 is one of the biggest players in the digital banking space, where it serves more than 7 million customers in 25 countries across the globe.
Prior to working at N26, BianRosa distinguished himself as a product leader at some of the world's top technology firms. Most recently, he served in the CPO role at SoundCloud, which was preceded by his time as CPO at Samsung Electronics, where he oversaw content and services for Samsung Smart TVs globally. He was also the co-founder and CEO of two successful venture-backed companies in Silicon Valley: video streaming site FanTV and BitTorrent application Vuze. BianRosa holds two degrees from Harvard University. In 1999 he received his Bachelor of Arts in general management, which was later followed by a Master of Business Administration in 2001.
4. Chad Hetherington, NICE Actimize
Title: Global Vice President and Head of Product
Chad Hetherington is Global Vice President and Head of Product for NICE Actimize, an industry-leading financial services technology innovator. Known for his extensive product development knowledge, Hetherington presents an agile, “customer first” approach to product development, reflecting his own roots on the banking side—where he supported solutions launches in both online banking and payment products at Citi. At NICE, Hetherington has been
at the forefront of the company’s successful transition of its enterprise products to the cloud, and in the past year he was instrumental in integrating two acquisitions into the NICE portfolio. Additionally, Hetherington spearheaded the company’s drive to infuse “Always on AI” capabilities across its entire portfolio.
Hetherington has more than 20 years of global enterprise software experience in financial services. Prior to his current role, Hetherington led delivery and consulting services for NICE Actimize fraud and cybercrime solutions. Before joining NICE, he was part of Citibank’s e-Citi division, helping various Citibank businesses launch online banking and payment products.
5. Oliver Furniss, dojo
Title: Chief Product Officer
Oliver Furniss is the Chief Product Officer at Dojo, the U.K.'s newest and modern payment acquirer, helping businesses to take payments, get access to their money fast, and grow by developing beautifully intuitive tools that simplify the everyday and take the hassle out of running a business. Dojo is driven by values that put the customer at the center of every discussion and decision with a ruthless dedication to solving customer problems. Dojo has recently been awarded the #2 spot in U.K.'s Best Workplaces in Tech 2021 guide and #3 for U.K.'s Best Workplaces for Women 2021.
Previously, Furniss served as product lead at Wise and Global VP Product at Xero. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and financial services from Nottingham Trent University.
6. Matthew L'Heureux, COCC
Title: Senior Vice President & Chief Product Officer
Matt L’Heureux is the Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer for COCC, a core and digital banking provider based in Central Connecticut. Founded in 1967, COCC delivers a comprehensive core partnership to community banks and credit unions. As CPO, L’Heureux uses his more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry to drive COCC’s product vision: developing the technology community banks and credit unions need to support their communities. In a rapidly changing environment, he keeps COCC’s teams focused on advancing solutions to extend beyond the company’s flagship core banking and digital banking platforms.
Prior to joining COCC, L’Heureux was the planning officer for a community bank with responsibilities centered around strategic and financial planning. He is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University and finished first in his class at the Connecticut Bankers’ Association School of Finance and Management.
7. Erika Peters, Exiger
Title: Global Head of Third Party and Supply Chain Risk Management Solutions
Erika is the Global Head of Third Party and Supply Chain Risk Management Solutions for Exiger, an integrated risk management firm transforming the global fight against financial crime and fraud. Operating out of 11 offices globally, Exiger is revolutionizing the way banks, corporations, and governments manage risk through its combination of practical expertise, award-winning technology, and process excellence. As Global Head of Third Party and Supply Chain Risk Management Solutions, and formerly as Global Markets - Group Head of Tech Transformation, Peters focuses on partnering with large financial, corporate and government clients to solve enterprise vendor risk management challenges with technology-enabled services that drive risk transparency, process efficiencies, and output consistency while also reducing process times and providing actionable intelligence.
Peters has close to two decades of industry experience, working across multiple industries on different risk management programs and reviews through her roles in Compliance, Regulatory Affairs, Internal Audit and consulting. Peters holds an MBA in Financial Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business.
8. Don Nilsson, Addepar
Title: Chief Product Officer
Don Nilsson is the Chief Product Officer of Mountain View, California-based Addepar, a financial technology company that provides performance reporting software for advisors working with high-net-worth investors. Addepar’s clients use the platform to manage and advise on more than $3 trillion in assets globally, and that number is growing by more than $15 billion each week. Since joining Addepar in 2019, Nilsson has already made a tremendous impact in driving expansion of the company's wealth management platform. As a strategic and operational leader, his track record of proven success is partly due to Nilsson's steadfast belief that the world of investing needs better and more transparent technology.
Nilsson joined Addepar from FactSet, a financial data and software firm. During his 23 years with FactSet, Nilsson is credited with moving the firm’s products to a web-based platform, an invaluable transition which certainly helped the company's annual sales grow from $50 million to over $1.4 billion during his tenure. In 1991, Nilsson received his Bachelor of Science in finance from Villanova University, which was followed by a Master of Business Administration from the NYU Stern School of Business in 2000.
9. Marc Prisco, iCapital Network
Title: Managing Director and Head of Product
Marc Prisco is a Managing Director and Head of Product at iCapital Network, a financial technology company that simplifies access to alternative investments, such as private equity and hedge funds, for investors and their advisors. As Head of Product, Prisco is responsible for the product development and product management of the firm’s financial technology platform. Prisco and his team have developed a thoughtful, comprehensive array of alternative investment styles and strategies structured to address a range of investment objectives, including diversification, returns, income, taxes, and ESG.
Prior to joining iCapital, Prisco was managing director of client reporting and institutional client management technology at JPMorgan Asset Management. Before that, he was a managing director at BlackRock and held various other roles including head of global security and market data; and head of accounting and client reporting technology. Earlier in his career, Prisco spent 10 years in Fixed Income at UBS, Bear Stearns, and Credit Suisse, where he built trading, risk, and structuring platforms. Prisco received his Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from New York University and is a CFA charterholder.
10. Aviad Pinkovezky, Hippo
Title: Chief Product Officer
Aviad Pinkovezky is Chief Product Officer of Hippo, where he develops the tools and products that bring the company’s home insurance policies and proactive services to life. In his role as Hippo’s first hire, he was responsible for building and scaling the company’s digital products, including the industry's first fully digital home insurance product that brought customers accurate quotes in less than 60 seconds. In just over five years, under Pinkovezky’s leadership, Hippo’s products grew to reach across 37 states, serving hundreds of thousands of customers. In 2021, the firm launched into the public market on the NYSE.
Before Hippo, Pinkovezky was a senior product manager at LinkedIn. Prior to LinkedIn, he spent ten years as an officer in the Israeli Defense Forces, working closely with engineers and military product managers. Pinkovezky earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Ben Gurion University, and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
11. Wesley Wright, Varo Bank
Title: Chief Commercial and Product Officer
Wesley Wright is Chief Commercial and Product Officer of Varo Bank, the first and only consumer fintech to be granted a bank charter in U.S. history. Wright joined Varo early on and helped build the bank’s strategy, operations, and products from the ground up. Today, Varo is a digitally native chartered bank, with a hyper efficient, tech-driven business model that offers premium banking services to consumers across the country.
Wright has over 25 years of experience in financial services, with a focus on new product development, customer experience, and P&L management. Prior to joining Varo, he was a senior vice president in American Express’ digital payments unit, where he led the launch of multiple digital payments products, including a mobile banking partnership with Walmart. He also led Amex’s prepaid travel payments business globally, with employees based in over 15 countries. Prior to Amex, he worked at McKinsey, Brown Brothers Harriman, and TradeOut, a B2B marketplace startup. Wright received his Master of Business Administration from the Darden School at the University of Virginia, and his Bachelor of Arts in classics from Princeton University.
12. Kristina Wallender, Human Interest
Title: Chief Product Officer
Kristina Wallender is a metrics-focused, customer-obsessed, brand builder and Chief Product Officer at Human Interest. She is responsible for building a top-rated 401(k) experience for America’s 32 million small businesses (and their 61 million employees), and advancing Human Interest’s mission to ensure that people in all lines of work have access to retirement benefits. Wallender is transforming retirement industry practices through leading industry-changing initiatives such as eliminating transaction fees and enhancing monitoring technology to further protect plan administrators from unexpected costs and penalties. Her organization spans the full lifecycle of the customer experience, including product management, design, customer success, operations, and marketing.
Prior to Human Interest, Wallender held product and marketing leadership roles at Amazon, Ticketfly, and RealtyShares. She is known for building customer-centric products and closing gaps to create a more integrated and differentiated customer experience. Outside of work, Wallender volunteers with community-based organizations that emphasize empowerment. She is currently focused on helping older adults live independently and families build emergency-preparedness plans. Wallender received a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in economics and psychology from Cornell University.
13. Konstantin Getmanchuk, DailyPay
Title: Senior Vice President of Product
Konstantin Getmanchuk is the Senior Vice President of Product at DailyPay, a financial technology company that reimagines the way money moves by providing access to earned wages. Combining his expertise in developing financial technology applications with his unique perspective and problem-solving skills, Getmanchuk has developed numerous DailyPay products and grown the organization’s offerings potential since joining the company in 2016.
Prior to his time at DailyPay, Getmanchuk was the director of product management at Versive Esentire; and vice president and head of structured finance analytics at Goldman Sachs. With a decade-long career in product management and development, Getmanchuk embodies DailyPay’s values by focusing on incremental improvement, embracing change and innovation, and doing whatever it takes to move the company forward. He is a thought leader in the earned-wage access space and has written multiple published articles. Getmanchuk received his bachelor’s degree in operations research and financial engineering from Cornell University.
14. Joppie Tjoa, 2C2P
Title: Director of Products
Joppie Tjoa is the Director of Products from 2C2P, a leading Southeast Asia payment service provider empowering global enterprises to securely accept and make payments through one point of integration. He has been at 2C2P since 2010, and he leads the product team responsible for the company’s payment gateway solution. Over the years, Tjoa has helped to build and lead complex payment initiatives and solutions that are implemented for several global and regional enterprise merchants like IKEA, Lazada, Air Asia, and more.
Prior to his long tenure at 2C2P, Tjoa was a Java programmer for M-Biz Global and a software engineer for ComiAsia Pte Limited. He holds an information technology diploma from Singapore Polytechnic and earned AWS Solution Architect certification.
15. Laura Marino, TrueAccord
Title: Chief Product Officer
Laura Marino is the Chief Product Officer at TrueAccord, a fintech company transforming debt collections from an adversarial relationship between collectors and consumers to a cooperative, consumer-friendly experience, enabling both parties to achieve their financial goals. TrueAccord pioneered the industry’s only adaptive intelligence: a patented machine learning engine powered by engagement data from over 16 million consumer journeys that dynamically personalizes every facet of the consumer experience. TrueAccord has multiple products addressing different stages of consumer and creditor needs, including Recover, Retain, and Engage.
Marino is an expert in scaling companies and product organizations. Prior to joining TrueAccord, she led product teams at organizations such as SAP Labs, Nuance, Microsoft, Intapp, and Lever. Marino is a recipient of the 2020 Technology Up-and-Comers award from Business Insider and Okta.com. She has also been a guest speaker at the Stanford Management Science and Engineering Department, lecturing on entrepreneurship and product management. She supports women and diversity in business, serving on the Board of Leading Women in Technology, a non-profit promoting women in leadership. Marino received two Master of Science degrees in civil engineering; and management science and engineering from Stanford University.
16. Mike Walters, Form3
Title: Chief Product Officer
Mike Walters is Chief Product Officer at Form3, a trusted provider of payment technology. He has held this role since 2016, as a part of Form3’s founding team. Walters is responsible for the design, prioritization, and commercial success of Form3’s products. Walters’ work at Form3 has led to a number of firsts for the company. Form3 connected the first non-settling participant and non-bank to the UK Faster Payments Infrastructure. He also helped Form3 to become the first cloud-native provider of payment technology to major financial institutions.
Walters has played a key role in all of Form3’s funding rounds, with a recent success being the $160 million secured from leading global investment bank Goldman Sachs. Walters has also worked closely with Form3’s C-suite to hit its gender diversity target of ensuring 25% of the company’s workforce is female. Before joining Form3, Walters was product director for global payment acceptance at Barclaycard from 2014 to 2016, and at Barclays from 2002 to 2014. Walters gained a law degree at the University of Warwick in 2001, alongside a Master of Arts at Nottingham University Business School in 2002.
17. Marcis Gogis, Mintos
Title: Head of Product
Marcis Gogis is the Head of Product at Mintos, a global investment firm providing retail investors with an accessible way to build wealth through loan-based investments. With over 440 000 registered users and €7 billion in total loans funded, Mintos is the industry-leading platform in Europe with a 45% market share. Gogis has been in the role of head of product since the company’s founding in 2015. He is leading various cross-functional product teams at Mintos, and with his team, Gogis has taken the Mintos platform from minimum viable product to the easiest-to-use investment platform in the industry. In the big picture, Gogis contributes to the team with his strategic thinking, focus, and sharp, business-oriented creativity.
Gogis has experience with the development of diverse digital products in various development cycles, as he was working in the banking and telecommunications industries prior to Mintos (Swedbank and Lattelecom). He is a frequent visitor and speaker at international conferences and universities, sharing the experience of building a unique customer-centric fintech product. Gogis holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in IT from Riga Business School.
18. Krzysztof Kujawa, Gabi
Title: Co-founder and Chief Product Officer
As Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Gabi, Krzysztof Kujawa drives product vision while also striving to revolutionize the experience of insurance shopping. His company, Gabi, is an insurance comparison platform that helps people find auto coverage and compare rates in just a couple of minutes. Since being launched from San Francisco in 2016, Gabi has found major traction with users and investors alike, having already raised over $39 million in venture capital funding from top investors.
A serial entrepreneur, Kujawa has dedicated much of his life to building different companies that make meaningful impacts on the world. He started his career in Poland, where he served as the CEO and co-founder of AMG.net, an internet solutions provider that was acquired in 2006. In total, Kujawa has nearly 20 years of experience in e-commerce, online consumer experience, and performance marketing in insurance and financial services industries. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, and a degree in management and marketing from the University of Lodz, Poland.
19. Katherine Degnen , Fidel API
Title: Vice President of Product
Katherine Degnen is Vice President of Product at Fidel API, a global financial infrastructure platform that enables developers to build programmable experiences at the moment a transaction occurs on any payment card. She oversees the development, commercialization, and management of Fidel API’s product offerings, influencing the direction of the company. Degnen also leads a global team of 20 talented engineers and managers from across functions. She is passionate about enabling developers to build powerful and engaging user experiences using real-time payments.
Prior to joining Fidel API, Degnen worked at Zola, where she focused on building new business verticals within the wed-tech startup. Her career in product began while working on creating new ways of helping customers save money on everyday purchases at RetailMeNot. In her spare time, she acts as the head of volunteer corps for Off Their Plate, a nonprofit focused on solving gender and racial inequities through food justice. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration focusing on economics from the University of Richmond.
20. Ivo Dimitrov, Finom
Title: Chief Product Officer
Ivo Dimitrov is the Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of FINOM, one of the fastest-growing European B2B financial services platforms. Dimitrov has been building FINOM since the very beginning, and he’s responsible for everything related to product development and design. He has managed to create the fintech platform with the best user experience on the market, pushing potential growth faster than any other industry player.
Dimitrov has over 12 years of experience working across products and startups. Before FINOM, he was CPO at Modulbank, a leading B2B bank in Russia. He also co-founded one of the first start-up incubators in Russia, with more than ten companies coming through the pipeline each year. Dimitrov started as a designer, had some experience as an entrepreneur, and then figured out that product management is what he loves most. Additionally, he runs a Telegram channel dedicated to product design, where he shares knowledge and backstage stories. The channel is currently followed by more than 8,000 users.
21. Stephanie Nehmens, Secfi
Title: Director of Product Marketing
Stephanie Nehmens is the Director of Product Marketing at Secfi. Secfi is the startup community’s largest equity advocate. The platform helps technology employees and shareholders navigate crucial financial decisions from offer to IPO. It is the first company to provide a proprietary suite of equity planning tools, 1:1 guidance with licensed equity strategists, and a set of financing products that enable employees to own a stake in the company they helped build. Secfi has worked with employees from more than 80% of all U.S. unicorns, and has more than $20 billion worth of stock options on its platform.
Nehmens joined Secfi in April of 2021 from Homepoint, where she was the managing director of customer marketing and experience. Before Homepoint, Nehmens was marketing director of LendingClub, and preceding her tenure there she led strategic marketing at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co in the B2B Corporate and Investment Bank group. From 2010 to 2014, Nehmens focused on product marketing and sales for the B2B and B2BC categories at Salient. Throughout her career, she has focused on optimizing consumer experience and lifetime value. Nehmens received her degree in journalism and Spanish from San Diego State University.
22. Randy McGraw, Payrix
Title Chief Product and Technology Officer
Chief Product and Technology Officer of Payrix Randy McGraw has over 20 years of experience in leading product, technology, and operational organizations that range from small startups to global service providers. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Payrix is an integrated payments company designed for high-growth vertical software platforms.In his current role, McGraw seeks to lead the organization through aggressive market expansion and transition by developing a culture of excellence, nimbleness, and collaboration.
McGraw has successfully transformed businesses and developed “as-a-service” cloud products and service models in multiple industries. This includes his work at Blue Star Innovation Partners, Intrado, and West IP Communications. McGraw is an avid supporter of the American Cancer Society, actively supporting the "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign focused on fundraising for breast cancer awareness and research. He earned a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems from Western Kentucky University.
23. Larry Robinson, BrightPlan
Title: Chief Product Officer
As BrightPlan's Chief Product Officer, Larry Robinson is able to pursue his passion for developing product strategies, building new products, and leading top organizations in the software industry. BrightPlan, a visionary company that seeks to improve the financial well-being of its customers with an innovative digital platform, has been a perfect fit for Robinson, who joined the team in 2016. In his current role, Robinson is responsible for a full range of company matters, including software architecture, business development with other enterprises, product development, marketing, and overall leadership.
Before the start of his time with BrightPlan, Robinson served as senior vice president of the Service Cloud Product at Salesforce, where he notably led the creation of the world's most successful customer service suite. He spent the first decade of his career at Oracle, where he developed a reputation for developing strong marketing campaigns and crucial business alliances. He holds two degrees from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. After earning his degree in mathematics and physics, Robinson then received a master's degree in physics, writing his graduate thesis on medical nuclear physics.
24. Jørgen Christian Juul, Cardlay
Title: Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Jørgen Christian Juul is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Danish fintech scale-up Cardlay. Based in Odense and Copenhagen, Cardlay has disrupted the fintech industry by enabling both SMEs and some of the largest financial institutions and technology corporations in the world with solutions for digital innovation and growth. With Cardlay, clients can quickly add a digital layer over all banking and card systems. In return, the banks and card issuers can offer their clients a wide range of new services directly on their existing card platform.
As a founder and CEO, Juul has been at the company’s helm since Cardlay was originated in 2016. Juul leads the company’s overall growth and revenue strategies. Furthermore, he brings over 30 years of experience in business development, marketing, sales, and revenue growth. He started his first business in 1987, and has since started 13 businesses. In 2014, Juul sold his latest company Wallmob, a mobile, omnichannel point of sale (POS) for the retail industry, to the Norwegian IT giant Visma. He holds a business diploma in marketing from the University of Southern Denmark.
25. Molly Black, Life.io
Title: Head of Product
Molly Black is the Head of Product at Life.io, a leading customer engagement technology firm that helps companies accelerate the development of their end-to-end digital customer experience. In 2021, Life.io was named one of the top 100 Insurtech companies in the world. As head of product, Black is responsible for optimizing user engagement, prioritizing and defining new products and features, and overseeing the Life.io content team. She joined Life.io in 2015 as a developer, and in three years she worked her way up to vice president of product and senior software engineer. She was promoted to her current role in 2020.
She began her career working as a neuropsychological researcher at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. Drawn to creative work, Black decided to shift gears and join a small publishing house in New York City where she did editorial and book-design work, before joining her first tech start-up. Black subsequently returned to school to study software development. Black attended Columbia University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in neuropsychology and creative writing.