Fintech Appoints CEO & Independent Chairman

Co-founded by Tarek Ayoub and Dean Mao in June 2019, Beforepay is a fintech start-up on a mission to disrupt and put an end to the payday distress cycle, creating a new sustainable way to access wages on demand and helping individuals decrease financial stress. In 24 months, it has amassed 100,000 users given its easy-to-use platform and AI powered credit assessment.

Placement Overview

  • Client

    Beforepay

  • Employees

    ~30

  • Location

    Sydney

  • Roles

    CEO and Independent Chairman

  • Customers

    100,000 customers and growing!

Background

We are incredibly proud to have partnered with Beforepay to prepare the exciting business for the next stage of its evolution. Our involvement has involved appointing Jamie Twiss as CEO and Brian Hartzer as Independent Chairman.

The Briefs

  • A “seasoned” CEO

    With an imminent IPO (scheduled for October) we were tasked with appointing an external CEO following 24 months of successful leadership by co-founder Tarek Ayoub. The Board were conscious of the increasing demands on the CEO role, including as a public company post-IPO, and were keen to appoint a seasoned CEO, who could maintain the incredible growth momentum of the business while preparing the business for IPO. Ideally, the successful candidate would have experience of successful market entries given a potential expansion into the North American markets – as the first of several potential geographic entries for Beforepay.


    Our search strategy involved identifying 114 candidates from other fintechs as well as executives within large financial services organsiations who had a deep empathy for a high-growth, digitally disruptive, B2C business like Beforepay. Ideally, they would also understand the payments sector, consumer credit regulations and have a demonstrated experience of growing revenue and entering new markets.


    Our shortlist comprised 5 candidates including two women, all of whom had been either a CEO or Chief Customer Officer of other fintech or listed financial services organisations. Jamie Twiss, the successful appointee, was the Chief Data Officer & Chief Strategy Officer at Westpac (having been placed by Johnson Partners in August 2018) and was shortly to exit the group. A former McKinsey leader and Stanford MBA, Jamie had built his career post consulting as Chief Strategy Officer of CBA and subsequently with growing the First State Investments business in the United States from scratch.


    After successfully building the First State business to $8 billion in assets, Jamie was keen to return to Australia. On his return, he accepted the opportunity to join Westpac as Chief Strategy Officer, where he was integral to many of the group’s investments and partnerships with fintech organisations including Zip, Afterpay, Coinbase, 10X and others. He was also involved in the development of the banking as a service proposition.

  • An “iconic” Chairman

    The mandate was to appoint a known leader who would provide confidence to investors while being able to guide the business through an imminent IPO and potentially into new markets including the US and Canada.


    Our shortlist included five prominent directors. However, Brian Hartzer was a particularly “iconic” leader who captured the Board’s attention given the breadth of his leadership experience including most recently as CEO of Westpac, his deep experience of investing in fintech organisations, and his deep knowledge of the North American markets – as a US citizen who commenced his career in the US. A former CEO of Retail at Royal Bank of Scotland (now Natwest), Brian also brought valuable international experience.


    Throughout these processes, and in order to attract this top talent, we worked closely with the founders and existing board members to provide advice on the appropriate structuring of remuneration packages at a board and executive level.

From The Client:

We've worked with Jason and the team at Johnson Partners on the appointment of two key hires and building out our all-star team. We were extremely impressed as not only did Jason and his team manage to fill our roles with high-calibre candidates, but they did it within short, demanding timeframes. When it comes to executive sourcing, by far, Johnson Partners' skills are unmatched and should be the go-to firm in the country.”

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