Thunes Announces Senior Hires to Lead Key Regions and Ramp up Global Expansion


Thunes, a global cross-border payments company, today announced that it has appointed four new senior executives to lead its business in strategic regions: Asia Pacific, the Americas, Middle East and North Africa, and Greater China. These key hires come as part of Thunes’ global strategy to further expand its global presence, deepen relations with local markets and localise its sales, product, and network capabilities.

“We have been ramping up our efforts to piece together a best-in-class team and solidify our leadership globally. The company is now in a position to take on new challenges with an expanded leadership team. We have added four highly talented regional Senior Vice Presidents (SVPs) to complement the strong leadership we already have in Africa and Europe, who together will accelerate our growth of Thunes across the different regions where we operate. And I’m glad to highlight that half of our global SVPs now are women, as diversity in the workplace can only strengthen us as a company,” said Aik Boon Tan, Chief Commercial Officer of Thunes.

Jenna Wyer, SVP for the Americas

Based in the US, Jenna has over a decade of experience as an executive leader and consultant in the mobile payments and e-commerce space. Her past roles include leading Business Development, Partnerships & Payments at Recurly, and being the founding Vice President of Sales at Braintree, where she secured deals with their largest merchants, including Uber, Airbnb, and HotelTonight.

Simon Nelson, SVP for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Simon has over 20 years of leadership experience in the payments industry and is based in Dubai. Before joining Thunes, Simon was most recently the CEO of Mercury, the domestic scheme in the UAE. Previously he was SVP for the Payment Processing arm of Network International and led the growth of that organization. Prior to that he built out his career in a variety of leadership positions in American Express and GE Money.

Biren Zandani, SVP for Asia Pacific (APAC)

Biren, based in Singapore, is a recognised payments expert with over 20 years of experience in financial services, particularly B2B, B2P, and P2P payments. Before joining Thunes, Biren was the Head of APAC at Transfast, a Mastercard company, where he was in charge of generating revenue and establishing robust network partnerships. He was also the Head of Business Development & Network Management for SEA & ANZ at Earthport (now Visa Direct). Prior to that he held several leadership roles in Banking, he was the SVP for APAC at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the Executive Director for ThailandVietnamLaos, and Cambodia at J.P. Morgan.

Daphne Huang, SVP for Greater China

Daphne, based in Beijing, brings in over two decades of sales, business development, banking, and fintech experience. Before joining Thunes, she was the Head of China for SWIFT, where she spearheaded its strategic and business development initiatives. She was also the CEO and General Manager of Cross-Border Financial Information Services, a joint venture limited company owned by SWIFT, the China National Clearing Centre, Cross-border Interbank Payment System Co Ltd, the Payment & Clearing Association of China, and the PBOC Digital Currency Institute.


Thunes Strengthens Board of Directors with Key Appointments


Thunes, a leading cross-border payments network, today announced the appointments of The Honorable Sunil Sabharwal and Ali Mazanderani to its Board of Directors. Both will also take up chairmanship positions at the company – Sabharwal as Chairman of the Audit and Regulatory Committee and Mazanderani as Chairman of the Strategy Committee.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Sunil Sabharwal and Ali Mazanderani as directors. Their contributions will further strengthen our board’s breadth of talent, experience and global reach,” said Peter De Caluwe, CEO of Thunes. “I am confident that their combined expertise will have a positive impact on Thunes’ next phase of development.”

Sabharwal joins the board with decades of advisory, private equity and financial technology experience at notable firms such as GE Capital and Ingenico (formerly Ogone). In recent years, as the U.S. Alternate Executive Director to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Sabharwal was responsible for casting the United States’ vote on IMF decisions and took an active role in advancing multiple financial technology initiatives there.

The Indian-American investor has led multiple exits during his time at private equity firms and is well-versed at paving growth paths for companies. In his new role, Sabharwal will be vital in contributing strategic oversight, managing relationships with regulators and financial institutions, and providing M&A advisory expertise.

“I have great admiration for Thunes’ vision and work in solving cross-border payments challenges in the emerging markets of the world,” commented Sabharwal. “I am honoured to join their Board, and I look forward to working closely with them.”

Mazanderani brings with him years of in-depth knowledge and expertise in driving fintech investments and heading strategy in banks. He is the co-founder and chairman of SaltPay, and also serves as a non-executive director on the board of several fintech companies including StoneCo (NASDAQ: STNE) and Network International (LSE: NETW).

Mazanderani’s extensive background in the global payments industry and credentials in leading fintech transactions positions him well to advise Thunes on strategic activity and help drive inorganic growth.

“Having followed Thunes’ growth over the past few years, I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute as a Board member,” Mazanderani shared. “Thunes’ unique solutions and robust leadership will transform how the world moves money across borders, and it is exciting to play a part in this.”