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Net1 appoints new chief financial officer

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Net1 UEPS Technologies has appointed Naeem Kola as group chief financial officer (CFO).

In a statement, the company says Kola will take up his role with effect from 1 March 2022, and joins Net1 soon after the announcement of the transformative acquisition of the Connect Group.

It notes that Alex Smith will remain in the role of CFO until Kola joins, and will then transition into the newly-created role of group chief accounting officer from 1 March.

The company says Kola has progressively held senior finance roles across Middle East and Africa, based out of Dubai, most notably as group CFO of the Emerging Markets Payments Group (EMP), a high-growth fintech business that grew materially, and successfully concluded and integrated five acquisitions during his six-year tenure as CFO.

Prior to becoming CFO, Kola was senior vice-president for finance, investments, strategy and business planning at Network International, a payment technology company in the Middle East.

Since the acquisition of EMP by Network International in 2017, Kola has been an operations director and strategic advisor to the emerging market private equity firm Actis, where he again focused on fintech business investments and value creation initiatives.

“We are excited to have Naeem join us as group chief financial officer,” says Chris Meyer, Net1 group chief executive officer.

“Naeem is a highly-experienced executive with a successful track-record as chief financial officer of high-growth emerging market fintech businesses. Naeem has extensive experience in merger and acquisition and post-merger integration, capital raising and overall management of high-performing finance functions within fintech businesses. His extensive global fintech expertise, combined with his strong knowledge of Net1’s core South African geography, make him an ideal choice to help drive our company’s growth.

“I am very excited to join Net1 during a transformational period for the business,” Kola says.

“I am highly aligned with the vision of financial inclusion and I am excited to work alongside my new colleagues, board directors and shareholders to pursue the very attractive growth opportunities facing Net1.

“I am a firm believer in financial inclusion and growth opportunities as markets transition towards digital payments and acceptance. This is an exciting opportunity and I am looking immensely forward to being part of Net1.”

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