Executive Leadership Team

Al Karim Somji

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.

Portait Anugopal Venugopalan

Anugopal Venugopalan

Co-founder and Chief Operating 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.

Bradley Breton

Bradley Breton

Chief of Staff to the CEO

Bradley is responsible for driving forward key organizational initiatives, working with the CEO and across the organization. In this role, he is focused on the framework and roadmaps for the enterprise -wide strategy and ensuring that the goals and priorities across the company are aligned. He brings experience in the technology and consulting industries to the leadership team.

Christian Kahl

Christian Kahl, PhD

Interim President, Capital Markets Group

Christian is experienced leading global teams in both the capital markets and software industry. Backed by a passion for numbers and mathematics, he provides in-depth expertise across quantitative finance and software technology. Most recently Christian was Head of Product Strategy and Client Services for FINCAD. Christian is now responsible for the Capital Markets Group at Zafin.

Darren Negraeff

Darren Negraeff

Chief Financial Officer

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 Head Shot

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.

Dubie Cunningham

President, Banking Group

Dubie has more than 20 years of experience in financial services and technology. As part of Zafin’s senior leadership team, Dubie supports the company’s strategic plan and ambitious growth goals, including targeted opportunities and relationships that build on the strength of the platform. She comes to Zafin from ScaleUP Ventures, an early stage technology fund that counts Scotiabank, TD and RBC as key corporate partners. Dubie’s role at ScaleUp focused on supporting the banks’ digital growth plans through connecting and investing in the fintech ecosystem. Prior to joining ScaleUP, she worked in numerous senior leadership roles for Scotiabank, including head of innovation and positions in capital markets, technology and digital banking. She has vast experience in corporate development and sales as well, holding positions at HP, AT&T and Symcor.

John Smith

John Smith

Executive Vice President Ecosystems

In his position as Executive Vice President Ecosystems, John ensures Zafin’s partner ecosystem aligns with the company’s mission to provide banks with solutions they need to succeed. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial services, including leadership positions at IBM and Hewlett Packard. Prior to joining Zafin, he served most recently as program director for financial services at IBM, focusing on the Z-Series ecosystem and working directly with banking’s biggest platform vendors.

Julie Draker

Julie Draker

Chief People and Culture Officer

Julie Draker is Zafin’s Chief People Officer and Vice President of Human Resources responsible for leading the talent strategy, people practices and HR function for Zafin globally. Prior to joining Zafin, Julie worked at Deloitte in the Human Capital Consulting practice where she helped clients to design and deliver culture-enabling talent solutions aligned with business strategy to achieve tangible, sustainable results. Earlier in her career, she held HR roles at Moneris Solutions, Rogers Communications and more. Julie obtained her Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resources from the University of Toronto and is a certified HR professional (CHRP, CHRL). She, her spouse, daughter, dog and cats live near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Rob King

Chief Revenue Officer

As Chief Revenue Officer, Rob is responsible for achieving Zafin’s revenue goals, leading end-to-end sales and marketing and driving alignment across the organization. He has more than 20 years of technology, fintech and finance industry experience and has held various leadership roles, most recently serving as Chief Executive Officer at DDS Wireless, a global transportation technology company. Rob led the business transformation to SaaS for multiple leading institutions, led Intuit QuickBooks through its launch to online and Microsoft’s 15,000 channel Partners to the cloud. In addition, he has extensive marketing experience, drawn from past roles at Sage Software, American Express and Suncor Energy. He is strongly committed to corporate volunteering and has personally volunteered over 500 hours as well as 6,500 team volunteer hours in the past five years.

Russell Goyder

Russell Goyder, PhD

Chief Analytics Officer

A former physicist, Russell has spent his 20-year career pursuing a passion for mathematical modeling and numerical computing within Quantitative Finance. He is a co-creator of F3, FINCAD’s patented next-generation analytics framework for derivatives pricing and risk analysis, and was most recently the Head of Product Development at FINCAD. Russell is now responsible for analytics across the Zafin group of companies.

Thomas Schickler

Thomas Schickler

Chief Commercial 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.

V Bala headshot temp

Venkataraman Balasubramanian (Bala)

Executive Vice President and 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

Dave Revell

Dave Revell

Chair of the Board

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 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 headshot temp

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.

Michelle Tredenick

Board Member

Michelle brings more than 25 years of financial directorship and executive experience to her role with Zafin. She has previously held executive leadership positions at Suncorp, MLC and National Australia Bank and currently serves as non-executive director for several institutions including Urbis, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), First Sentier Investors and Cricket Australia. She is also a board member of the Ethics Centre and a member of the Senate of the University of Queensland.

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.

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