Ex-interswitch executives enter RenMoney board for business transformation
In a dramatic turnaround move by the founder and board of RenMoney, Nigeria’s most capitalized and premier consumer finance company, some senior executives from Interswitch have been appointed to transform its businesses as it faced stagnated growth over the last two years.
The board of RenMoney, led by Kieran Donnelly, newly appointed chairman, a veteran of Rencap and close ally of Stephen Jennings, Rencap founder, took the drastic step of firing the leadership of RenMoney and then brought in new firepower from Interswitch.
Ian Abraham, old CEO, was summarily asked to depart last week. Ian, a South African, was the former Chief Risk Officer of Renmoney but assumed leadership when the previous CEO departed. However, Ian was ill-prepared for the job which saw RenMoney lose market share rapidly. It was also reported that Ian was not able to transform the business as he did not understand technology and eschewed risk, a big let-down for a CEO driving transformation.
Tobi Boshoro is the new CEO, an industry heavyweight within the Fintech community. Tobi, who has a diverse experience in oil and gas, tobacco, fintech and banking, is now saddled with transforming the flailing organization into the largest consumer finance organization in Africa within the next five years. Tobi is famed for building the Verve brand before her departure to the Stanbic Group where she led the turnaround of their digital business and grew profitability substantially.
Responding to the new development, Dolapo Ashiru, a Lagos-based financial analyst said it is a good move by RenMoney.
“It a good idea, first of all the new CEO understand the Nigeria market and the Fintech industry, which was different for the former Chief Executive. So because of her background it can serve as a leverage for the company as she will be able to adjust more easily and achieve the aim of the company,”Dolapo said.
Supporting Tobi is Peter O’Toole, who until his appointment to Renmoney as the CFO was the CFO of Interswitch Limited. Peter came with the takeover of Interswitch by the Helios Capital in 2011.
Other lower executive positions have been filled by Interswitch staff and with as many as five others awaiting resumption.
“I know the company to be into micro credit and they are using technology to drive it, so if you then have someone who have a Fintech background to drive it. This will help accelerate growth, perhaps that is what they want to use as their competitive advantage to reach demand,” Ayo Akinwunmi, Head of Research FSDH Merchant Bank.
Renmoney was founded by Stephen Jennings, who was also the founder of Rencap. In 2011, in a manner best described as a dystopian movie plot, Stephen lost Rencap to Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian Oligarch, as he was forced to sell far below market value.
At its peak, Rencap was one of the most prestigious investment banks in the world and was the most prestigious in Nigeria with an awe-inspiring lineup of ex-executives like Ade Shonubi, former CEO of NIBSS and Deputy Governor of Central Bank, Oyinkan Adewale, CFO of Union Bank, and Ini Ebong, Group Treasurer of First Bank of Nigeria.
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