Finstar Financial Group announces the appointment of Mark Ruddock as the CEO of FinstarLabs, the corporate venture group that identifies, invests in, and helps create cutting edge technologies that will enable the generation of new alternative financial services. This appointment reflects the commitment of Oleg Boyko, Founder and Chairman of Finstar Financial Group, to the continued growth of Finstar’s fintech and financial services investment program.
Mark has more than 15 years of leadership experience in venture-backed startups, spanning enterprise software, mobile applications and online financial services, which has included two successful exits.
He joins FinstarLabs from Wonga, a credit provider, where he was responsible for overseeing the company’s businesses outside the UK, including consumer lending operations in Canada, Spain, Poland and South Africa, its investment in the Scandinavian company Folkefinans, and its ecommerce business, BillPay, in Germany.
Nicholas Jordan, CEO of Finstar, commented: “We are delighted to be welcoming Mark Ruddock as CEO of FinstarLabs. Mark has the gravitas, expertise and sense of entrepreneurial spirit and adventure that will prove invaluable as we embark on a major investment program to fund the most exciting fintech startups internationally. Mark’s appointment is part of a broader recruitment drive to identify the best talent in the industry to help build the Group’s global footprint in fintech.”
Mark Ruddock explained, “This is a particularly exciting time in the Financial Services Industry. A unique intersection of cost-effective cloud-based technologies, anytime, anywhere and always-connected handheld computing, and powerful advances in data science and artificial intelligence, are creating new opportunities to serve those historically underserved by financial institutions. Driven by a clear and compelling vision, Finstar is laying the foundation for the future of financial services, and I am thrilled to be part of that journey.”
Prior to joining Wonga, he was the CEO of Canadian mobile startup Viigo, which had become one of the most popular Blackberry apps ever by the time it was acquired by RIM (Blackberry) in 2010.
Before joining Viigo, Mark founded and led INEA, an enterprise software company that became a key strategic partner of many of the world’s leading financial institutions. By 2005, INEA had been deployed in over 44 countries, when it was acquired by Paris-based Cartesis. Cartesis was subsequently purchased by Business Objects in 2007, which shortly thereafter was acquired by SAP.