The Financial Technology Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of Europe for 2022. This year’s awardees represent some of the most accomplished women leading organizations and teams across various segments of the financial technology sector. As finance continues its rapid transition into a digital experience, these executives and their companies remain at the forefront driving towards more efficient solutions across global payments, money management, cryptocurrency exchange, cloud banking, big data management, and a number of other areas.
Laura Marshall built Finastra’s value engineering function from scratch and created a dynamic department that is firmly embedded across the company as its Chief Operating Officer, Europe. And Laura Pappi, Head of Operations at HyperJar, created a global, hybrid, scalable team capable of working remotely—a year before the pandemic made this business-critical. As Director of Risk and Privacy Compliance, Priya Shah has been instrumental in shaping the platform, product, and operational strategies of CarePay, which has enabled five million users to acquire healthcare services digitally in Africa.
Out of scores of nominees, these women were selected for their proven ability to lead others, their deep domain expertise, and their impact on the overall fintech sector. They have made invaluable contributions to their companies that have in turn been able to thrive in the competitive, rapidly advancing digital financial space in Europe and around the world. Please join us in celebrating the achievements of this year’s Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of Europe for 2022.
1. Tara Farrer, APEXX Global
Title: Senior Vice President of Operations
Tara Farrer is the Senior Vice President of Operations at APEXX Global. APEXX is a multi-award-winning payments orchestration platform, aggregating global payment technologies into a single marketplace for enterprise merchants. For the past five years, Farrer has been responsible for assembling the operational team, implementing operating strategies, building processes and procedures from the ground up, and making them fit for scale. Under her auspices, APEXX has navigated PCI DSS, ISO 27001 and won a shower of industry awards, including the Payments Awards “Most Disruptive Payments” solution twice during her tenure. Having risen to the role of SVP of Operations, she sits as the youngest member of the APEXX Executive Management Team and has overseen the boarding of enterprise merchants such ASOS, Avon, eShopWorld, and many more.
Farrer entered the professional workforce in London when she arrived from New Zealand at the age of 19. Opting not to go to university, she is an advocate for alternative paths to career success and completing extracurricular learning while on the job. Prior to APEXX, Farrer scaled up the operations for Europe’s first mobile payment solution, Yoyo Wallet. Through professional training qualifications and her experience during her career, Farrer has cultivated a deep knowledge of operating frameworks and payment technologies to drive both business success and her professional success. Farrer is a passionate business leader who pays it forward as an active mentor in the COO Mentor Stories program, empowering the next generation of operational leaders.
2. Priya Shah, CarePay International
Title: Director of Risk and Privacy Compliance
Priya Shah is currently the Director of Risk and Privacy Compliance at CarePay, a healthtech company challenging the status quo in developing countries where fraud, high healthcare costs, and lack of trust is a major problem resulting in millions of people falling into poverty every year. CarePay has developed a platform aimed at increasing transparency, reducing cost, and ultimately enhancing the end-to-end experience for members, healthcare providers, Health insurers and donors.
The platform has processed one million health insurance claims and is enabling five million users to be able to save and acquire healthcare services digitally via a network of 4,600 healthcare facilities in Kenya and Nigeria. Some of the recognition CarePay has received includes being named a 2018 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and being top 10 in Fortune's 2021 Change-the-World list.
In the last five years at CarePay, Shah has held various leadership roles, pioneering solutions to address the multiple challenges impacting digital adoption in healthcare. Her health insurance experience coupled with her medical background have been instrumental in shaping the CarePay platform, product, and operational strategies. Shah’s growth mindset and her people centric leadership style have enabled her to thrive in the most challenging and unfamiliar situations. Before joining CarePay, Shah worked with AAR Health Services and as a consultant for 18 years designing and implementing digital solutions within healthcare delivery and insurance to enable transformation. Shah has a degree in Pharmacy from the John Moore’s University and a Master’s Degree in Prescribing Sciences from the University of Aberdeen.
3. Sonia Dorais, Chaser
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Sonia Dorais is Chief Executive Officer of Chaser, the market-leading accounts receivables automation software and credit control services provider. As a result of Dorais’ leadership and new strategic direction for Chaser throughout the first year of her appointment as CEO, company revenues have increased by 103%, and the business’ total addressable market increased by 700%. Dorais embodies Chaser’s vision to create a world where all businesses have the confidence they will get paid for their work, and under her leadership, Chaser has helped businesses worldwide chase and recover over $10 billion in late payments.
Prior to this role, Dorais led the growth of numerous fintechs in Canada and the U.K. that specialized in digitization and automation of finance and accounting tasks and functions. With nearly 20 years’ experience in fast-growing businesses, she is driven by a passion for helping people and businesses reach their full potential. Dorais has been recognized for her accomplishments by being shortlisted for CEO of the Year (Management Today Inspiring Women in Business Awards, 2021). Previously, Dorais worked as CMO at cap-table and ESOP software Capdesk and was CMO for accounts payable platform Compleat Software.
4. Keeley Vaughan-Davies, DOCOMO Digital (tie)
Title: Chief People Officer
Keeley Vaughan-Davies joined DOCOMO Digital, the international payments subsidiary of NTT DOCOMO, in early 2020. She has been instrumental in driving the transformation of the human resources function, especially the shift to managing remote work in the wake of the pandemic. Vaughan-Davies has also been responsible for driving a people-first culture and values that are aligned with the business’s vision and mission. A commercially-minded strategic senior HR leader, she has extensive experience working in global markets, and she has led transformation including culture change, M&A, integration, and increasing performance and agility. She has a record of success working in the payments, fintech, and financial services industries within PE and privately owned companies.
Vaughan-Davies served as the Head of HR at MoneyGram International before joining DOCOMO Digital. A British national, Vaughan-Davies has espoused an international outlook, having been raised in New Zealand, where she began her professional journey with Telecom Directories. She has since held HR leadership roles across Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East, leading large HR transformation projects and working closely with leadership teams in driving meaningful business impact with people initiatives.
4. Simone Wittstruck, DOCOMO Digital (tie)
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Simone Wittstruck is the Chief Financial Officer at DOCOMO Digital, the international payments subsidiary of NTT DOCOMO, the leading global telecom brand. Wittstruck joined net mobile AG in 2009, a leading payments business that was acquired by DOCOMO Digital. She has held a variety of leadership roles during this time and has been instrumental in driving the company through transformation and corporate restructuring. Wittstruck role-modelled the focus on business strategy and profitability within the finance function and pioneered the adoption of technology in every aspect.
Wittstruck brings a deep understanding of the evolution in regulation across the EU as well as globally in both the telecom and financial services industries. With her background in audit and tax consulting before joining DOCOMO Digital, Wittstruck was able to drive the company’s inorganic growth initiatives from the front. She served as the CFO for the GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) region and steered the business through the transition from technology to financial services company. Wittstruck is passionate about fostering innovation in the mobile payments space as a way to serve the underbanked communities around the world and catalyze growth for DOCOMO Digital’s clients.
5. Laura Marshall, Finastra
Title: Chief Operating Officer, Europe
Laura Marshall, Chief Operating Officer of European operations at Finastra, built her 20+ year career in the value engineering (VE) space and is passionate about putting customer value at the heart of everything. She was part of a pioneering VE team in enterprise software (at Siebel Systems) before moving to Oracle and then Misys (now Finastra), where she set up the VE practice. Marshall built Finastra’s VE function from scratch and created a dynamic department that is firmly embedded across the company. It is recognized for delivering excellence and has been awarded by Finastra’s parent company as a significant new function within the Vista portfolio.
As a result of that success, Marshall became Chief of Staff to Finastra’s Chief Product and Technology Officer. Then, she took on the newly-created role of COO, Europe, acting as an operational and strategic partner to the sales leader, responsible for governance of sales and pre-sales, strategic planning, and forward-looking activities. She has contributed to reshaping sales, pre-sales, and other go-to-market functions at Finastra to ensure that return on customer investment is the organization’s fundamental operating principle. Her determination to form a strong partnership between intelligent, results-oriented governance and a value-based selling process has seen amazing success and contributed to significant growth in Europe.
6. Maria Campbell, Griffin
Title: Vice President, People
Maria Campbell is the Vice President of People at Griffin, a banking as a service provider, currently seeking approval from the PRA and FCA to become the U.K.’s first platform bank. Purpose-built for the next wave of fintech growth, Griffin aims to combine the power of a best-in-class API-first platform with the robust controls of a fully authorized bank. Campbell, who has been with Griffin for just over a year, is focusing on ensuring the company’s people-first culture continues to evolve and thrive amidst rapid growth.
Prior to joining Griffin, Campbell led commercially-minded, inclusive people strategies at high-growth startups including GoCardless, Snyk, Permutive, and Monzo, where she supported the company to grow its headcount by 1,500% in two years. Believing culture is a company’s most important asset, she is passionate about developing human-first structures that make work both enjoyable and fulfilling, and helps teams to grow quickly, healthily, and deliberately. Campbell received a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge and a Master of Arts in English and American Literature from the University of Kent.
7. Laura Pappi, HyperJar
Title: Head of Operations
Laura Pappi joined HyperJar—the award-winning, free money management and spending account—as employee number 12 in 2019. Tasked with building a customer support service from scratch, just six months later Pappi had created a global, hybrid, scalable team capable of working remotely—a year before the pandemic made this business-critical. She is now head of operations with a team of 35 reporting to her, including regulatory compliance, HR, customer support, and onboarding functions.
HyperJar is Pappi’s first foray into fintech after 8 years working in catering and fashion tech start-ups in the U.K. and football journalism in her native Italy (Juventus is a passion). She earned her Masters in International Relations at the University of Venice Cà Foscari after earning a Bachelor of Arts in European literature. Pappi’s work philosophy is to create a strong team culture that is “clear and kind.” Feedback is given often and positively, everyone is listened to, and training, development, and promotion from within the team is the default. Colleagues praise her intelligence, pace of work, and willingness to tackle (and master) new challenges every day. She praises her colleagues’ ability to put up with regular, detailed updates on Italy’s global sporting dominance.
8. Jenna Wright, LMAX Group
Title: Managing Director
Jenna Wright leads LMAX Digital, the leading institutional cryptocurrency exchange and part of the wider LMAX Group. As Managing Director, Wright has led LMAX Digital from its launch in May 2018. Today, she runs a multimillion-pound business within LMAX Group, with a cross functional team comprised of associates around the world, from account management, liquidity provision, technology, custody, and sales. Through her foresight in spotting the potential in the institutional cryptocurrency market, Wright has clearly established herself as one of the most innovative and agile women in the U.K. fintech space.
Wright graduated from the University of Manchester with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Politics before joining LMAX Group in January 2009. Prior to becoming Managing Director of LMAX Digital, Wright held multiple senior managerial roles at LMAX Group, including Head of Broker Operations and Head of Client Services.
9. Bronwyn Boyle, Mambu
Title: Chief Information Security Officer
Bronwyn Boyle is CISO at Mambu, the cloud banking platform where modern financial experiences are built. Mambu gives financial institutions a powerful competitive edge by allowing them to rapidly create, launch, and service any lending or deposit portfolio through a modern SaaS banking platform. Boyle is accountable for the security of Mambu and for fostering security across the ecosystem of composable products and customers utilizing Mambu to open financial services, promote innovation, and support financial inclusion across underserved communities around the globe.
Boyle was previously Head of Security & Counter-Fraud at the Open Banking Implementation Entity in the U.K., playing an instrumental role in fostering secure adoption of open banking and improving the security of 600+ companies enrolled in the ecosystem. Her focus on driving increased, secure adoption of open banking oversaw a 25% uplift in individuals and businesses choosing to securely share their financial data with new and innovative products and services, boosting competition across retail banking. Boyle has provided security consultancy to small to medium enterprises, worked with Lloyds Banking Group, served as an advisor for 10x Future Technologies, worked for Big Four organizations, and served as Director of Information Risk Management at Barclays Bank. In 2021, Boyle was named to the Top 21 Most Inspiring Women in Cyber by IT Security Guru. Boyle received her Master of Science in Security & Forensic Computing from Dublin City University, and a Master of Arts in Classical Studies and a Higher Diploma in Computer Science from University College Dublin.
10. Fiona Roach Canning, Pollinate
Title: Co-Founder and Chief Product & Marketing Officer
Fiona Roach Canning is a Co-Founder and the Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Pollinate, a company focusing on reinventing merchant acquisition for banks around the world. She has been instrumental in building Pollinate from an idea to a company valued at over £100 million and employing over 150 people worldwide. As part of this, Roach Canning spearheaded the development of a bank-led loyalty platform for SMEs and consumers, which is live in the UK with Tyl by NatWest. Roach Canning strongly believes in the importance of a diverse workforce and is proud of Pollinate’s commitment that up to 10% of staff are paid interns and apprentices. She has featured in Startups magazine and Global Banking & Finance Review, and she has spoken at events such as Money20/20.
Prior to co-founding Pollinate, Roach Canning spent four years working with Nectar, where she was responsible for strategy, innovation, and product development. This was preceded by a role as Head of Strategic Insight at Visa, where she first realized the power of consumer spending data, which would go on to underpin her work at Pollinate. Before this, her experience as a management consultant gave her the opportunity to work with blue chip brands such as UBS, Samsung, MAS, and Pepsi, creating customer-driven product innovation. Roach Canning received her Master of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.
11. Trudy Ross, Quantile
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Trudy Ross is the Chief Operating Officer at Quantile, which delivers market-leading post-trade optimization services to the largest financial institutions globally. By reducing risk, capital, and notional requirements, Quantile increases market liquidity and accelerates a safer financial system that’s better for all. In 2016, Ross was the third employee to join Quantile and has been integral to the company’s substantial growth. The company is widely recognized as a market leader in its field and has over 90 employees who are based in offices in London, New York, and Amsterdam—with Tokyo coming soon. More recently, Quantile announced that it is soon to be acquired by the London Stock Exchange Group plc.
Prior to her time at Quantile, Ross held senior positions at Deutsche Bank, including Global COO of Clearing Sales and Global Business Manager for Rates Trading. She also served on the executive committee of the OTCDeriv board for 10 years. A strong advocate for women in fintech, Ross encourages everyone to prioritize the company and its culture ahead of roles. Ross holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Auckland.
12. Tania Calvo, RavenPack
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Tania Calvo is the Chief Operating Officer of RavenPack, which was founded in 2003 and designs big data analytics services that conduct financial analysis. RavenPack Analytics transforms unstructured big data sets, such as traditional news and social media, into structured granular data and indicators to help financial services firms improve their performance. Calvo joined RavenPack in 2003 as Senior Vice President of Administration and HR before being appointed COO in 2017. She’s been instrumental in shaping RavenPack's foundations as a commercial entity and is a recognized leader by her peers.
With more than 15 years of experience in similar positions, Calvo is a multi-talented, versatile, and experienced manager who has helped develop and strengthen companies from start-up organizations to large, privately held companies with a global presence. Before RavenPack, she worked in the legal, healthcare, and service sectors.
13. Julia Markiewicz, Silent Eight
Title: Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Julia Markiewicz is a Co-Founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Silent Eight, a technology company that uses AI-powered solutions to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Markiewicz holds a Master’s Degree in Social Policy and is passionate about innovation and inspiring people to reach their potential. Specifically, she is driven to activate every member of the team to achieve their maximum growth through learning and development. Based in Singapore, her unique management style is a primary catalyst behind Silent Eight’s heavy investment in research and development and is a key driver in the expansion of the team’s geographical footprint.
Prior to Silent Eight, Markiewicz has a history of entrepreneurial activities, including founding her own startup, Fabryka Kadr, a leading European provider of human resources services that brought many modern HR concepts to the mass market. Markiewicz is a member of 100Women in Fintech Directory, a founding member of RegTech Women, and has been listed among the Financial Technology Report’s “Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology” in both 2020 and 2021.
14. Pamela Mead, SumUp
Title: Vice President of Global Design
Pamela Mead joined SumUp in 2019 to head up the Design organization—encompassing Product, Brand, and User Research—with global responsibility. She is spearheading the effort to turn SumUp’s services into a cohesive, powerful, and personal SuperApp experience that serves a merchant’s breadth of needs when running their business. Her team is establishing the narrative for SumUp’s UX strategy—from brand expression to experience and service principles. She has been establishing user research as a foundational practice for all product, marketing, and design work with a strong focus on empathy building aligned with SumUp’s mission.
Mead has spent the last 15 years building design teams and practices in successful companies such as Delivery Hero, HERE Technologies, Telefónica, and Yahoo!. At Yahoo!, she led the mobile-focused team centered on Connected Life, which was an early concept of a connecting experience of mobile, TV, and computers into a single communication space. She moved to Madrid in 2011 to set up a customer-driven innovation practice at Telefónica, succeeding in engaging both businesses and key stakeholders in the design process and customer-focused practices.
Mead holds a Master’s Degree in Design and Communication from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a passionate leader who empowers teams to find ways to solve the right problems in ways that delight through their simplicity, effectiveness, and integrity.
15. Georgina Nelson, TruRating
Title: Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Georgina Nelson studied Psychology at the University of Leeds, where she became fascinated with how to measure, understand, and predict human behavior. She realized that the key to everything was data you could trust, which required sample sizes not usually seen in market research. After graduating, Nelson took a turn into law, working first in finance with Clifford Chance LLP before joining Europe’s largest consumer association, Which?, representing consumer privacy and data issues at an EU and U.K. Government level.
It was at Which? that Nelson identified a market need for representative consumer feedback. Putting two and two together, she created TruRating, a point-of-sale rating system that, by making feedback super simple and super quick, achieves what other survey tools fail to do—create mass, genuine customer data samples at speed. TruRating doesn’t stop there; all data is shared back to consumers via profile pages to ensure that the data exchange is a fair one for both parties. With over 300 million ratings collected worldwide, TruRating is now the world’s largest platform of validated consumer ratings.
16. Anna Gladka, Volt
Title: Business Development Director
Anna Gladka joined Volt as Business Development Director in 2021. Volt is one of Europe’s fastest-growing fintechs and integrates domestic open payments networks to a single point of access. In doing so, it enables businesses around the world to accept real-time, account-to-account payments from their customers in the same seamless way. Gladka joined Volt shortly after its record-breaking $23.5 million Series A funding round. Since then, she’s been an outstanding success in securing key relationships and marquee account wins.
Gladka was previously Sales Manager at Zalando—one of Europe’s greatest startup success stories—where she led sales for the brand-new Zalando Shipping Solutions. Gladka was responsible for creating market strategy, outreach, and internal and external stakeholder management. She also led and created account management processes with leading fashion brands. Prior to Zalando, Gladka was Senior Sales Manager at Wirecard—specifically in the digital entertainment vertical. The company provided outsourcing and white-label solutions for electronic payments worldwide.
Gladka participated in a special needs childcare volunteer program in 2016. During a two-month summer camp for disabled and special needs children, she was responsible for organizing daily entertainment activities. Gladka received her Master of Science in Economics, Innovation, and Change from Friedrich Schiller University Jena and her second Master of Science in Global Entrepreneurship Economics and Management from Università degli Studi dell'Insubria. She also holds a Bachelor’s in International Economics and Management from Kyiv National Economic University.
17. Sasha Mazhar, Yobota
Title: Head of People
Sasha Mazhar is currently the Head of People at Yobota, where she built and embedded the HR infrastructure and people strategy, enhancing operational and security compliance processes. She oversees talent development, culture, engagement, and recruitment across the business as well as providing HR updates to the Board, delivering an inclusive HR function that nurtures high growth across a rapidly scaling fintech business. Yobota delivers an award-winning, cloud-based core banking platform and has recently entered the banking as a service (BaaS) space.
Mazhar’s continuous work on improving workplace engagement was recognized when
Yobota achieved the 2021 Best Companies “Ones to Watch” award based on positive
workplace engagement practice. In July 2021, Mazhar successfully led the business’s
seamless transition into hybrid working, building on existing processes, policies, and
technology as well as educating and informing the workforce, creating a positive employee experience, and gearing the company to secure its third client as a result.
Prior to her time at Yobota, Mazhar worked in creative, media, and PR industries, having
managed the growth of HR functions for large-scale international businesses across the
EMEA markets and supporting business executives on implementing company strategy.
Mazhar received her Master’s in Human Resource Management and International Business from Edinburgh Napier University and graduated with Joint Honors from the University of Strathclyde in Law and Human Resource Management. She frequently contributes advice and insight on key HR topics across various platforms in the industry.
18. Deepika Gupta, ING
Title: Global IT Lead of Tribe Cash Management
Deepika Gupta is the Global IT Lead of Tribe Cash Management for ING, a multinational banking and financial services corporation that covers retail, direct, commercial, investment, wholesale, and private banking in addition to asset management and insurance services. Gupta serves ING by creating and embedding strategies associating multiple IT solutions into one platform to provide seamless customer experiences. She has also spearheaded and managed her business unit with a keen focus on enabling digital treasurers of key clients. In her time with the company, she has increased employee engagement by identifying IT trends in markets and through a systematic focus on craftsmanship.
Before working her way up to her current position within ING, Gupta was a project manager, a scrum master, an IT integrator, and then an IT manager handling financial markets, end-to-end payments chain test automation, and PSD2 APIs. She came to the company from Infosys, where she filled several positions culminating in an analyst role for client ABN AMRO. Gupta holds several certifications, including Professional Scrum Product Owner and Financial Markets Intermediate Practitioner, and she is a Lean Sigma Six Black Belt.
19. Alyona Andronikova, Moneyveo
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Alyona Andronikova is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Moneyveo, a leader in instant online non-bank lending. The company provides end-to-end automated lending and the highest service speed. It makes payday loans accessible, fast, easy, and transparent whenever customers need them, with no need to visit offices or waste time qualifying. Today, over one million people use Moneyveo, enjoying the benefits of one-minute loan approval, a less than one-minute application process for regular customers, and a six-minute application for new customers. Andronikova was initially the COO of Moneyveo before taking the CEO position in 2018. As transformational leader and expert in rearrangement of processes according to Lean-concept, she has developed an innovative strategy that results in proven business growth, improvement, and efficiency.
Prior to joining Moneyveo, Andronikova gained 20 years of experience in the industry, including 10 years in business management. Notably, she was group CFO as well as COO for Nenfit Systems. She is also a certified expert in Six Sigma Methodology and ACCA DipIFR. Now, under Andronikova’s leadership, Moneyveo has entered the international market, developed new services, and received a number of prestigious national and international awards. Andronikova earned a Master’s in Accounting and Audit from the Cherkasy Engineering and Technological Institute, a Master’s in Finance and Financial Management Services from Evropejs'kij Universitet Financiv, Informacijnih Sistem, Menedment ta Bisnesu, Kiiv, and an Executive Master of Business Administration from IE Business School.
20. Katja Hunstock, finleap
Title: Chief Product Officer
As Chief Product Officer, Katja Hunstock oversees the finleap product market-fit analysis and product roadmap. Finleap is an independent Open Banking platform that addresses the fragmented open banking landscape with a “full-stack” platform. Hunstock is responsible for defining and leading the company’s product strategy and vision in order to realize the international growth plans of its Open Banking platform. In her previous role as the head of BU Open Banking, she drove the company’s technology-based innovation and development, in particular further development of its Open Banking products, which comprises finleap connect’s core product line.
Prior to joining finleap in 2019 as a principal product manager and working her way to head its Open Banking BU, Hunstock held several leadership roles at GetYourGuide and Delivery Hero. She also worked in inside sales for Hewlett Packard, where she was able to increase client enrollments by 25% by her third year. Hunstock graduated from Instituto Universitário de LisboaI with a Bachelor’s in Economics and completed the ThePowerMBA Program at ThePower Business School.
21. Julie Watts, Kurtosys
Title: Head of Onboarding Management
Julie Watts is the Head of Onboarding Management for Kurtosys. She works with new and current customers to empower financial services firms to build bigger and better businesses through sustained growth via the Kurtosys Cloud, a unique digital experience platform built for the needs of the most demanding enterprises on the planet. Her team is also responsible for managing enhancements and new features for current customers. Typical onboarding projects include configuration of websites and digital marketing tools, documents, and client reporting portals. In nearly a decade with the company, Watts has also served as Implementation Manager, Head of Program Management and Technology, Director of Business Operations, Professional Services Lead for North America, and, most recently, Head of Pre-Sales.
Watts brings over 25 years of experience in financial services technology, with a background in project management and a deep understanding of data, technology, and UI/UX. Prior to Kurtosys, she was a VP for Thomson Reuters and a GRIS Administration Manager for Merrill Lynch. Watts received a Master of Education in English Education as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Buffalo.
22. Sarah Ratner, Lendable
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Sarah Ratner is the Chief Operating Officer at Lendable, a leading debt finance provider to fintech companies across frontier and emerging markets. Lendable creates access to new financial products and services for unbanked as well as underbanked populations. The company finances fintech companies that facilitate consumer and MSME credit, productive asset finance, payments, remittances, and digital marketplaces. Lendable has so far disbursed over $225 million to fintechs in more than 14 countries. Ratner’s role tasks her with augmenting her company’s portfolio to keep pace with its geographical expansion and other ambitions, while also assuring that quality remains consistent in its operations.
Prior to her current role, Ratner was Lendable’s Head of Customer Operations and Project Manager for The Economist magazine. Ratner studied performing arts and philosophy at Oxford Brookes University.
23. Seema Desai, iwoca
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Seema Desai is Chief Operations Officer at iwoca, which offers credit facilities to small businesses trading in the U.K. and Germany via an automated lending platform. She joined iwoca in 2017 as Head of People, developing iwoca’s talent and organizational capabilities. In her current role, she has scaled the exceptional customer service that propelled iwoca to its status as one of the fastest growing business lenders in the U.K. A passionate advocate of equal opportunities, she also leads iwoca’s efforts to achieve greater diversity and inclusion across the fintech industry, which reflects her former role as the company’s Head of People.
Prior to joining iwoca, Desai led the development of the Innovative Finance ISA at peer-to-peer lender Zopa as its Head of Product. Before that, she helped members drive financial inclusion in emerging markets at GSMA, the trade body of mobile network operators, and she gained experience in traditional banking as Head of Retail Savings Products at Halifax and Bank of Scotland (HBOS). Desai began her career with Accenture as a Strategy Manager. She studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge.
24. Tatiana Rozoum, Fintecture
Tatiana Rozoum is the Co-Founder of Fintecture, the first instant bank-to-bank payment solution in France. Fintecture is a secure and scalable API gateway connecting businesses to banks to initiate transactions and access their customers’ bank account data. Rozoum oversees operational and regulatory aspects. She built the core team that took the startup from just a project to a leading European firm in payments initiation. She is an innovator and communicator who understands a team dynamic.
Rozoum comes from a regulatory background. Prior to founding Fintecture, she served as Director in a U.K. e-money institution, worked as legal counsel at the French Prudential Supervisory Authority, and was a consultant focusing on fintech, digital commerce, and blockchain businesses. This background has given Rozoum a broad perspective on the challenges that stakeholders face in the fintech space and helped her develop an understanding of overcoming regulatory and operational challenges in the payments sector. Rozoum received a double Bachelor of Law in French and Russian Law, as well a Master’s in Business Law from the Université Paris Nanterre. She also holds a Masters 2 in Finance and Law from the Université Paris Dauphine – PSL.
25. Camille Leca, Euronext (tie)
Title: Chief Operating Officer of Listing and Head of Listing in France, Portugal, and Spain
Camille Leca is the Chief Operating Officer of Listing for pan-European stock exchange Euronext in addition to being the company’s Head of Listing in France, Portugal, and Spain. She oversees all commercial efforts for prospection and client coverage in the region, covering 950 issues with an average of 40 new listings annually. She is also in charge of the promotion of capital markets via bilateral meetings, events, and initiatives. In her nearly nine years with Euronext, she has also been a Small and Mid-Cap Analyst, a Project Manager, Chief of Staff to the CEO of Euronext Paris, and Chairman and CEO of EnterNext, a subsidiary of Euronext dedicated to financing and promoting small and mid-caps in financial markets.
In addition to her Euronext duties, Leca is currently associated with AMF, ESMA, and the Federation of European Securities Exchanges, the last of which she serves as Chair of the FESE Listing Experts Task Force. She is also a board member of Euronext Paris, Oslo Børs, and Cercle des Administrateurs. Leca earned a Bachelor of Law, Master in Public Law, and
Master in Business Law from University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne, and also received a degree with a major in Finance from ESCP Business School.
25. Helena Straussmann, Crunch (tie)
Title: Head of Transformation and Product
Helena Straussmann is the Head of Transformation and Product at Crunch, a highly successful cloud accountancy SaaS SME established in 2009. Crunch provides slick, powerful, and easy to use accountancy software developed in-house, making lives easier for thousands of freelancers, contractors, and small businesses in the U.K. Along with the pioneering software comes the ultimate feature: real experts in service, accountancy, bookkeeping, and payroll. Crunch has won an array of prestigious national business and accountancy awards over the years, including Large Firm of the Year in the U.K. Accounting Excellence Awards in 2019. Crunch also enjoyed its first ever crowdfunding raise in 2021, beating its target after attracting the interest of investors seeing business growth potential from further product development.
Straussmann has been instrumental in developing a product roadmap to continually enhance the offerings of Crunch to its members, and in particular the development of the “Crunch Free” software, where the monetization from signups continues to exceed expectations. During a glittering 12-year career at Crunch, Straussmann was most recently promoted to Head of Transformation & Product in 2019 and is part of the Crunch Senior Leadership Team. Previously, as a founding employee, Straussmann progressed through the ranks in a number of pivotal service operations management roles.
Straussmann utilizes her immense knowledge of Crunch, together with exceptional project management and organizational skills and exceptional drive, reflected in her earlier academic success, to achieve outstanding results. She received her Bachelor of Arts Honors degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Brighton.