Riaan Wessels joins MTN’s burgeoning fintech unit

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Riaan Wessels, MTN chief risk officer for fintech.
Riaan Wessels, MTN chief risk officer for fintech.

MTN Group has appointed Riaan Wessels as chief risk officer of fintech − the fifth executive in recent months to be assigned to the telco’s financial services unit.

The appointment takes effect from July, as Wessels shifts to the new role from his current position of group executive for risk and compliance.

“As chief risk officer for fintech, Riaan will continue to add immense value at MTN by effectively managing risk exposures to the business and ensuring robust processes and controls,” says Serigne Dioum, group chief fintech officer.

MTN Group has been buttressing its fintech business since October, as it looks to garner a significant share of the growing financial services sector in Africa.

The Pan-African telco, which is targeting 100 million fintech users on the continent, in October deployed Adekunle Awobodu as new chief financial officer for digital and fintech.

This was followed by the appointment of Hermann Tischendorf as chief technology and information officer for digital and fintech in December.

MTN then beefed up the team when Dioum assumed the streamlined role of group chief fintech officer effective February, while Michele Gamberini joined as chief technology and information officer.

Earlier this month, Andrew Goodrich was appointed as executive for banktech.

MTN Group says Wessels’s 20 years of experience in implementing complex programmes at multinational companies in the technology and telecommunications industries will be crucial for its fintech unit.

“This includes leading large risk management, compliance and internal audit teams across operating environments in the Middle East and Africa,” says MTN.

Wessels holds a BComm Honours degree from the University of Free State in accounting, auditing and tax, and a postgraduate diploma in business leadership from GIBS, and chairs the board of MTN Guinea Conakry.

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