FinTech Futures: Top five stories of the week – 20 January 2023
Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
Temenos in leadership shake-up as CEO and chairman step down
Core banking tech heavyweight Temenos is searching for a new chief executive officer (CEO) following the resignation of Max Chuard, a 20-year Temenos veteran and its most recent CEO.
The vendor says its board of directors is considering both internal and external candidates and the position is expected to be filled by the end of 2023 at the latest.
Chuard says that now is “the natural time” for him to step down.
Executive chairman Andreas Andreades will assume duties as acting CEO until the new appointment is made.
Also, after 24 years at Temenos and following a two-year succession plan process to hand over chair responsibilities, Andreades will not be standing for re-election as executive chairman at the next annual general meeting (AGM).
Thibault de Tersant, who is currently an independent and non-executive director and vice-chairman at Temenos, is proposed by the board to be elected as non-executive chairman at the next AGM.
Clearco lays off 30% of workforce, CEO Michele Romanow resigns
Canadian growth capital firm Clearco’s CEO and co-founder Michele Romanow has stepped down from her role less than a year after being appointed, according to media reports.
Romanow will transition to the role of executive co-chair and remain on the company’s board, with Andrew Curtis, who has recently been working in an advisory capacity for Clearco, replacing her as CEO.
TechCrunch reports that the Toronto-based company is also laying off 30% of its workforce across all its teams, just five months after it cut 125 jobs due to “significant” economic headwinds. The latest round of layoffs brings Clearco’s approximate headcount down to 140 from 500 last year.
Goldman Sachs loses $3bn over three years on platform solutions business
US banking heavyweight Goldman Sachs’ platform solutions unit has reportedly lost $3 billion over nearly three years.
Reuters reports the firm outlined a pre-tax loss for the unit, which includes its transaction banking, credit card and fintech businesses, of $1.2 billion for the first nine months of 2022. This follows a $1.05 billion loss in 2021 and $783 million the year before.
The news of losses from a division within the bank designed to diversify its business lend credence to the Wall Street titan’s recent decision to shift its focus back to its core propositions of trading and investment banking, wealth management, and transaction banking.
In October, Goldman Sachs folded its digital bank offering Marcus into its wider asset and wealth management division as the firm shifted its focus away from its retail banking proposition.
US DoJ charges crypto exchange founder over alleged illicit fund transfers
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has arrested and charged the founder and majority owner of crypto exchange Bitzlato, Anatoly Legkodymov, over his alleged operation of a “money transmitting business that transported and transmitted illicit funds and that failed to meet US regulatory safeguards, including anti-money laundering requirements”.
The DoJ alleges that Bitzlato processed more than $700 million in illicit funds, enabling criminals to profit from ransomware and drug trafficking.
Deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco says the arrest of Russian national Legkodymov has “dealt a significant blow to the cryptocrime ecosystem”.
He has been charged with running an unlicensed money transmitting business and faces up to five years in prison.
Nexi taps IBM to upgrade core payments infrastructure
Italian paytech Nexi has signed a five-year deal with tech giant IBM to modernise its core payment processing infrastructure.
Nexi will utilise the firm’s IBM z16 and IBM Storage System offerings to provide “more secure, reliable and quantum-safe transaction processing for clients”.
The company is looking to accelerate the modernisation of its services, data and processes “so digital channels and applications can be run reliably and securely”.
The IBM z16 system enables high-volume transaction processing while also allowing users to analyse real-time transactions at scale to better monitor for fraud. It also offers quantum-safe cryptographic technology, which, IBM says, can help address “future quantum-computing related threats including harvest now, decrypt later attacks which can lead to extortion, loss of intellectual property and disclosure of other sensitive data”.