By Sharon Lewis and Reethu Ravi This article is the first of a four-part Tech’s Year in Review series reviewing developments across industries in 2020. This first installation discusses some industries spotlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, namely edtech, logistics and supply chains, fintech, [...]
Singapore-based Finaxar today announced that it has made several key senior appointments, strengthening its leadership team as it eyes regional growth. Finaxar provides its award-winning Lending-as-a-Service™ to financial institutions, Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) platforms using data-driven methods to provide fast, tailored financing solutions for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Rakesh Bhatia brings almost 30 years of banking experience with HSBC and has taken an executive role as the Chair of Finaxar’s Executive Committee; Sonford Yuen who was formerly the Executive Director, Head of Enterprise Banking Credit, Risk Management Group at DBS Bank (Hong Kong) is now Finaxar’s Group Chief Risk Officer and Country Head – Hong Kong. Finally, Mohd Ridzwan Nordin who was previously a Venture Partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures and a Vice President at Khazanah Nasional Berhad, has come onboard as Country Head of Malaysia.
“We are pleased to welcome these extremely experienced and talented individuals to our team. Each of them brings a thorough understanding of, and most importantly, proven experience in all aspects of SME financing. It continues to be a pleasure working with them,” said Dr. Tan Sian Wee, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Finaxar.
As the Chair of Finaxar’s Executive Committee, Rakesh Bhatia will be overseeing Finaxar’s strategic and business execution in an executive role. Rakesh has amassed almost 30 years of banking experience with HSBC across Asia, UK and the Middle East, most notably as Global Head of Trade Finance and CEO of Indonesia, prior to helming an independent Private Bank in India. As a veteran in the banking industry and a fintech insider for the past three years, Rakesh brings unparalleled insights and operational depth in all aspects of SME financing and longstanding relationships with financial institutions globally. “Coming from a finance and banking background, I am excited to join Finaxar, a firm that is disrupting the SME lending industry. I look forward to nurturing the firm and assisting its growth plans within the region,” said Rakesh.
Sonford Yuen has assumed responsibilities as the Group Chief Risk Officer and Country Head – Hong Kong. He is spearheading the development of Finaxar’s risk strategies and overseeing the implementation of risk policies throughout all the geographies that the group covers, managing them operationally. Sonford brings nearly two decades of banking experience with major banks such as DBS in Hong Kong where he was the Executive Director, Head of Enterprise Banking Credit, Risk Management Group and HSBC in Hong Kong, where he was Head of Balance Sheet (Risk & Capital) Management, Commercial Banking, Asia Pacific. “There is definitely an appetite for technology-driven financing solutions within Hong Kong and ASEAN. I am excited to propel Finaxar’s growth to be a major fintech player,” commented Sonford.
Mohd Ridzwan Nordin (Reez) has been appointed as the Country Head of Malaysia. Reez was most recently a Venture Partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures (‘MHV’), a leading early-stage tech venture capital firm in Southeast Asia prior to joining Finaxar – one of MHV’s’ portfolio companies. He was also a Vice President at Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad where he focused on the fund’s Innovation and Technology portfolio. “I believe that Finaxar has the ability to grow and secure a very strong foothold in Malaysia using their unique approach. I am excited to spearhead the company’s growth in Malaysia and to contribute to Finaxar’s regional development in all aspects,” said Reez.
Founded in 2016, Finaxar is a Singapore-based fintech firm that is focused on changing the way small business financing is done using technology. Solving working capital challenges faced by SMEs, Finaxar finances directly from their balance sheet to provide innovative data-driven credit and payment solutions.
One of their solutions includes the Finaxar Credit Line that enables business payments through a single, integrated platform that aligns seamlessly with businesses’ cash flows to provide rapid liquidity to SMEs.
In July 2019, with the support of Enterprise Singapore, the firm cemented its Lending-as-a-ServiceTM in a new cross-border partnership with Cathay Financial Holdings and Indovina Bank to improve access to SME financing in Vietnam, where up to 98 per cent of enterprises in Vietnam are SMEs – setting a milestone for its first overseas market beyond Singapore.
Finaxar is invested by leading venture capital firms Monk’s Hill Ventures, 500 Startups and Cathay Ventures as well as global financial institutions. Finaxar was also the winner of VISA’s Everywhere Initiative and the runner-up at the Singapore Fintech Festival’s FinTech Awards.
Image: (Left to Right) Rakesh Bhatia (Chair – Finaxar’s Executive Committee), Sonford Yuen (Group Chief Risk Officer, Country Head – Hong Kong), and Mohd Ridzwan Nordin (Country Head – Malaysia)