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MFS Africa Invests in London with all-new Executive Team

Founder and CEO of MFS Africa, Dare Okoudjou


MFS Africa, a pan-African payments gateway connecting wallets to mobile money applications, has hired a flurry of new London-based executives.

“London has taken up the mantle of fintech advocate and champion,” says MFS Africa’s CEO

The new team will be led by Patrick Gutmann, a banking veteran with experience at ABN Amro, RBS, Egypt’s Commercial International Bank, South Africa’s Ecobank, and United Bank for Africa.

“MFS Africa is no longer an emerging start-up,” says Gutmann, who points out the company’s 200 million African mobile wallets connected to its network. “With this maturity comes an opportunity.”

The fintech, which bought Beyonic and signed a major deal with PayPal’s remittance arm Xoom last year, wants to drive new cross-border payments offerings in the UK which target banks.

The mobile money gateway also intends to work with global development organizations (GDOs) and government agencies to develop propositions such as digital cash disbursements.

MFS Africa will now manage its firm-wide treasury, governance, risk and compliance functions out of London.

Other London-based executive additions include Funmi Dele-Giwa. Previously United Bank for Africa’s former legal head, she will direct MFS Africa’s legal and regulatory operations.

American Express veteran, and more recently MoneyGram’s former regional compliance head, Mark Ashdown, joins MFS Africa as its new head of risk and compliance.

Nika Naghavi, who directed data insights for industry body GSMA’s mobile money unit, joins as strategic projects director

Dynamic ecosystem

MFS Africa’s founder and CEO, Dare Okoudjou, says he’s excited to embed MFS Africa in London’s “dynamic financial services ecosystem”.

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“London has taken up the mantle of fintech advocate and champion. We’re keen to get more deeply involved in the conversation. To learn from its expertise in governance and regulation, and to tap into its extraordinary talent pool.”

MFS Africa expanded into the continent’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector with the Beyonic acquisition last year. Previously, the fintech focused on consumers.

Whilst its deal with PayPal’s Xoom allows UK, European and North American users to transfer money to seven African countries. These include Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.