Executive Leadership Team & Board of Directors

Zafin is led by an executive team and board of directors with a wealth of knowledge and experience in banking, and a proven track record of success.

 

Executive Leadership Team

Al Karim Somji

Founder, Group CEO, and Board Member

Al Karim Somji

Founder, Group CEO, and Board Member

Al Karim Somji founded Zafin in 2002. Besides his role as CEO, he is the chief visionary at Zafin, and as such, he has successfully built a team focused on delivering innovations and sustainable revenue growth in banking. Today, Zafin’s solutions play an important and strategic role at some of the largest and most innovative banks in the world.

Alexandra Roddy

Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Partnerships

Alexandra Roddy

Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Partnerships

Overseeing Zafin’s Marketing and Partnerships teams, Alex draws upon 20+ years of experience in marketing, technology, strategy and product development with leading financial services companies, including Bank of the West, Charles Schwab, Franklin Templeton, Wachovia and Wells Fargo. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area and passionate about giving back to her community, Alex serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.

Andrew McCue

Chief Technology Officer, Cloud and Security in Product Development

Andrew McCue

Chief Technology Officer, Cloud and Security in Product Development

Anugopal Venugopalan

Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer

Anugopal Venugopalan

Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer

As a founding team member of Zafin, Anu has over 20 years of experience successfully delivering enterprise-class solutions to financial and telecom service providers.

Charles Whitburn

Chief Legal Officer in General & Administrative

Charles Whitburn

Chief Legal Officer in General & Administrative

Darren Negraeff

Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations

Darren Negraeff

Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations

Darren is responsible for Finance and Operations at Zafin. Darren has over 15 years of experience across a combination of functions including marketing, strategy, partnerships, corporate development, finance, and operations. Previously, he has been the first hire at several successful startups and joined Zafin initially as the Director of Marketing. He serves as a Board Member and Treasurer for various Vancouver-based non-profit organizations.

Dinesh Krishnan

Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

Dinesh Krishnan

Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

Dinesh Krishnan is responsible for Zafin’s Global Product Development. As Zafin’s senior subject matter expert, he has developed customer-centric strategies for banks with a focus on relationship pricing and loyalty. Previously, Dinesh worked for a global investment bank, where he was responsible for innovative financial products, and mergers and acquisitions.

Gabriel Leiva von Bovet

Executive Vice President, Sales

Gabriel Leiva von Bovet

Executive Vice President, Sales

Responsible for sales on a global basis, Gabriel leverages over 30 years of international and domestic business and IT experience, primarily focused on the banking sector. Prior to joining Zafin, Gabriel held various senior positions at IBM’s Global Business Services, CGI and Unisys, where he ran subsidiaries in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Thailand and Peru. Gabriel holds a PhD in Engineering and is very active in professional immigrant organisations in Toronto.

Julie Draker

Chief People Officer & Vice President, Human Resources

Julie Draker

Chief People Officer & Vice President, Human Resources

Meenaz Sunderji

Executive Vice President, Sales

Meenaz Sunderji

Executive Vice President, Sales

Meenaz is a senior subject matter expert in banking and technology innovation shaping how the industry evolves to become more customer-centric in the digital age. He has over 20 years of experience in technology startups, partnerships, sales, implementation, consulting and engineering across various industries. He also serves as a board advisor for Madlipz, as well as being a professional speaker at various banking and technology conferences across the globe.

Thomas Schickler

Chief Operating Officer

Thomas Schickler

Chief Operating Officer

Thomas Schickler has more than 25 years of experience in global wholesale banking, most recently as CEO of The Liquidity Marketplace. He has also held global leadership roles at HSBC, J.P. Morgan and Citi.

Venkataraman Balasubramanian (Bala)

Chief Technology Officer

Venkataraman Balasubramanian (Bala)

Chief Technology Officer

Bala brings to Zafin his deep and varied experience, working around the globe in financial services and the information technology sector. Previously serving as CTO, Banking and Capital Markets for DXC Technology, he is a welcome addition to Zafin as a banking industry Subject Matter Expert (SME).

Although he now calls New York home, Bala is truly a global citizen. He has worked in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and India, gaining valuable experience along the way which he brings to his current role at Zafin. Bala’s experience at both major international companies, like Xerox and IBM, and smaller startup companies offers multiple industry perspectives.

Over the course of his career, whether at large corporations or small startups, Bala has worked in many different areas of the business, including business management, services sales and delivery, strategic planning, solutions architecture, indirect channel management and more. Bala plans to use this experience to benefit Zafin’s current and future clients.

Board of Directors

Barry X Lynn

Board Member

Barry X Lynn

Board Member

Barry X Lynn is Chairman, CEO, and President of Be eXceL Management Inc., an incubator of early stage tech companies. He is the Chairman of Blab Inc., and past Chairman and CEO of 3Tera. He has over 40 years of experience in IT and banking, building the first online banking system as CIO at Wells Fargo.

Dave Revell

Board Member

Dave Revell

Board Member

CIBC’s Technology team is led by Dave Revell, who joined CIBC in 2011 and was appointed to his current role in 2017. Dave is responsible for the technology required to run CIBC’s businesses and support excellent client and employee experiences. He previously served as Senior Vice-President, Retail and Business Banking Technology. Prior to joining CIBC, Dave was a senior executive with BMO, responsible for Application Development, IT Strategy and Architecture and also functioned as the CIO for Chicago-based BMO Harris Bank. Dave started his career at IBM Canada and holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Management Science from University of Waterloo. He has completed various executive leadership courses and has earned an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Dave is a past President of the University of Waterloo Alumni Association, a member of DXC and Bell Canada’s Global Advisory Councils, co-chair of the Evanta CIO Executive Summit, and has served as an Executive Sponsor for MARC (Men Advocating Real Change). Dave is also an accredited Angel Investor and a Director of Fiix Software, a Cloud-based Maintenance and Asset Management software company.

David Walsh

Board Member

David Walsh

Board Member

David Walsh is the managing partner for Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors’ growth equity activities.

Mr. Walsh has a record of successfully starting, acquiring and turning around technology and telecommunications companies. Previously, Mr. Walsh worked in corporate finance at Ernst & Young. In 1988, he became a partner in the buyout fund Maiden Lane Associates. In 1991, Mr. Walsh acquired a bankrupt technology company, Card*Tel Inc., and later sold the company to Transaction Network Services, Inc. at a ten times return for shareholders. Mr. Walsh continued to develop the business for TNS until 1999, when TNS was acquired by PSINet. Mr. Walsh then started FortuneLinX, a provider of real-time revenue assurance systems to the telecommunications sector, which was acquired two years later.

Mr. Walsh graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Geneseo and obtained his M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Keith Spencer

Board Member

Keith Spencer

Board Member

Keith Spencer is one of Canada’s leading information technology lawyers. As Co-Leader of the Start-Up & Emerging Company Services group of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, he provides expert advice to start-up and mature private technology companies. Keith is the recipient of the BC Technology Industry Association’s Bill Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award for his exemplary efforts in supporting the BC technology industry. Keith’s passion for the technology sector was cultivated early in his legal career, having worked as in-house counsel for the Vancouver-based Wireless Data Group of Motorola from 1989 to 1990, and then at D-Wave Systems from 2002 to 2003. A member of various Boards and Advisory Boards, Keith plays a significant role in number of early stage and emerging technology companies and technology industry associations. Keith holds a BSc from UBC (1983), an LLB from Queen’s University (1987) and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1988.

Nizar Jaffer Somji

Chair of the Board

Nizar Jaffer Somji

Chair of the Board

Nizar Somji is the President and CEO of the Jaffer Group of Companies, a full service management and investment firm. He is the former President and CEO of Matrikon, which he founded and grew until it was acquired by Honeywell Inc. in 2010. He has a proven track record of growing businesses based on prudent fiscal management.

Randy Garg

Board Member

Randy Garg

Board Member

Randy Garg is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Vistara Capital Partners. Formerly, he was a Managing Partner at Beedie Capital. He also spent six years with PwC Corporate Finance, most recently as a Managing Director. While at PwC, Randy led the firm’s corporate finance activities across Western Canada for the technology practice.

Request a Demo