Team

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John Berns,

Managing Partner

John has considerable experience in international retail banking and payments spanning more than two decades, covering areas such as acquirer processing, inter-bank clearing, settlement, and treasury together with alternative payment types like ACH. …

John was Senior Vice President of Marketing at Visa International before joining Accourt, and since has worked worldwide for a broad range of major companies, including many leading retail banks, the major card schemes, payment organisations and multi-stakeholder industry associations.

He has assisted numerous central banks and interbank committees across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in setting up domestic processing systems, with a focus on Treasury and particularly on the mitigation of exchange rate exposure, risk management and governance, together with technology selection and implementation.

John is very familiar with the merchant acquiring and issuing community and the current innovation that is taking place with eWallets and mPOS. In addition he understands the current and future planned regulatory changes and more importantly their impact on the issuing and acquiring community.

He has worked at a senior level with many of the global players across a wide range of strategic and operational projects.  As a founding Partner, John has been employed by Accourt for almost thirteen years.

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Vaughan Collie,

Managing Partner

Vaughan has more than two decades of experience in financial services and payments, from P&L responsibility through to UK-wide and global consulting roles for major blue chip organisations. Prior to specialising in payments, Vaughan was …

Risk Strategy Manager for a large, diversified Blue Chip retail group. Vaughan’s subsequent consulting roles have utilised his extensive and diverse experience, particularly in multi-channel international payments, fraud and risk management.

In-depth industry and technology knowledge across a broad range of relevant initiatives enables Vaughan to deploy his well-developed problem-solving skills. He is able to rapidly understand, manage and communicate issues at senior management and board level.

Vaughan’s background includes multi-channel (e.g. ATM, ACH, e-commerce, mobile, face-to-face, etc.) product and service design and consultancy with major industry players such as American Express, Barclaycard, Boku, Faster Payments Scheme, Lloyds Banking Group, MasterCard, PayPal, Skype, Travelex, UK Payments (formerly APACS), Visa, VocaLink and a number of top- and mid-tier international retail banks and financial services institutions across the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Africa, APAC and LATAM.  Vaughan has been a partner at Accourt for 12 years.

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Roger Alexander,

Non-Executive Director

Roger is widely recognised as an industry expert in the card and merchant payments arena – and indeed was awarded “Cards Personality of the Year” by the UK industry at the prestigious Card Awards. Prior to joining Accourt, Roger was …

CEO of Elavon Merchant Services, one of Europe’s major acquirers, and he was formerly also the CEO of S2 Card Services Limited (previously Switch), the UK’s major domestic debit card scheme, and a partner in Edgar, Dunn & Company, a US strategic consultancy specialising in payment systems. Roger started his banking career with Barclays Bank, where he spent 31 years in a variety of roles, culminating in 1994 in his appointment as a Director of Barclaycard and Managing Director of the Barclays Bank Emerging Markets Group.

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Julian Gibbins,

Non-Executive Director

Julian has almost two decades of M&A, strategy and business development experience in international payments covering areas such as issuer and acquirer processing, switching and settlement, …

merchant acquiring, alternative payments including mobile payments, PSP/ e-commerce gateway, prepay, ACH, ATM, money transfer, FX and cash.

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Anne Cobb,

Advisor to the Board

Anne has long experience in the European payments and financial sector, and has worked in a variety of very senior roles across the continent. She was President of the CEMEA region for Visa International, responsible for Visa business in 84 countries, …

and growing revenues over 13 years from $5m to $330m.

Anne was previously the General Manager of Eurocard International (now incorporated within the Maestro system), where she also oversaw very substantial business growth. Anne’s initial career was with Crédit Agricole, where her achievements included the introduction of the bank’s first ATMs and the first traveller’s cheques in French Francs.

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Alex Rolfe,

Partner

Alex joined Accourt in 2014 and brings a wide experience of the international payments market. Alex has worked in Europe, the Americas and Africa on a number of different payments projects with a major focus on mobile payments initiatives. …

Alex has a strong focus on start-ups and the launch of new businesses and products, understanding the complexities of tying multiple business streams together. He is also capable of working with senior management and board directors for budget acquisition and ROI justification cases.

Prior to joining Accourt Alex was VP business development at Paybox which went onto be acquired by Sybase. Alex then went on to work with the EMEA team at SAP bringing mobile banking, payments and remittance platforms to the regions banks.

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Jamie Merritt,

Senior Consultant

Jamie has almost 20 years’ experience in Payments with a specific background in business and product development in the issuance of Charge, Credit, Debit and Prepaid Cards. His key strengths are in the areas of strategic business development, …

product and marketing, with particular expertise in co-branding, strategic partnerships and product development, working with a number of blue chip issuing banks and latterly MasterCard. Jamie also successfully led and delivered a number of high-profile card launches across a broad spectrum of business verticals including Goldfish, Amazon, Asda, PayPal, JLP and Marriott.

Jamie has also worked extensively in the regulatory space assisting a number of organisations with both FCA and Scheme licence applications. Prior to joining Accourt, Jamie was VP Business Development for MasterCard in the UK specialising in the creation and development of partnerships for payments in both the traditional and non-traditional spaces for issuing and acquiring.

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Nick Hughes,

Consultant

Nick joined Accourt in 2012 and is an integral part of the delivery team. He has a strong understanding of the payments industry, in particular scheme processes, including authorisation, clearing systems and the associated technical documentation. …

During his career he spent 6 years at Visa Europe where he was a senior member of the Implementation Management and Consultancy Team, responsible for managing high profile projects and working with some of Europe’s largest issuers, acquirers and processors. One of his last projects whilst at Visa Europe was managing the technical migration of RBS’s debit portfolio from Maestro to Visa Debit.

 

Associates

Mark McCullagh

Mark is a commercially focused finance professional with 22 years’ experience in global financial services and UK domestic retail businesses, including: financial planning, analysis and control, process improvement, project management …

and leading international teams. Adaptable, solutions focused, has excellent analytical skills with strong commercial judgment and high levels of personal accountability. Having forged a strong career at Visa Inc as Head of Pricing and Client Deals, working on pricing strategy and client business deals development over a 12 year period, Mark is now involved in exciting initiatives such as the Payments Council’s Strategic Payments Roadmap (the commercial and pricing elements thereof).

Peter Comben

Peter has over 25 years of experience in card payments. Areas of specialism include fraud and risk management and POS for Acquirers, Retailers & Processors. For issuers operating various types of card portfolios he has provided fraud reviews and risk assessments leading to both operational and system recommendations.

For acquirers he has assisted the transition to chip by modelling the risks prior and post the liability switch, thus determining the optimum investment in new chip accepting POS devices. For several financial services organisations he has assisted with the selection of fraud detection and management solutions. The card associations have employed Peter’s skills for fraud modelling projects, projecting fraud patterns and providing future fraud reduction product development strategies. Peter’s experience includes a number of todays most leading edge payment initiatives, such as, mobile and contactless/NFC. Whilst most projects have been strategic and developmental in nature, Peter has also provided operational management support for a major UK issuer where he significantly reduced fraud levels and liability during his period of ownership.

Andrei Vylegzhanin

Andrei has an extensive background in financial services and card payments with over 24 years’ experience in the industry. As Head of Business Development in Russia, Andrei was responsible for leading VISA’s sales effort in increasing business several fold…

From 1 million cards to over 120 million cards. While spearheading Merchant Sales and Solutions in the Visa Moscow office, he and his team were responsible for strategic partnerships with key merchants and for expanding VISA’s acceptance footprint across Russia. Prior to VISA Andrei worked across several Russian financial services companies, and consults in Russian and English.

Joseph Bourner

Joseph is an experienced IT project manager and business consultant, successful in delivering projects within an unusual variety of challenging environments. His background is primarily in the financial services sector but also includes medical systems …

and public utilities. He has strong planning and organisation skills, and is equally at home with technical specialists and with end-user staff, working at all levels within an organisation. His projects have included the very earliest stages of requirements analysis, through to the roll-out and marketing of the end products, with a recent emphasis on work in environments requiring the highest levels of financial and information security.

Joseph Marton

Joseph has approaching two decades of experience in delivering complex business and technology projects, primarily in the financial sector. He has specific interests in software architecture and development methods, and is always focused on achieving …

measurable business value from the effective and appropriate use of technology. Prior to joining Accourt, Joseph was the Solutions Director for a software development and systems integration company, and previously spent thirteen years with major global organisations, focusing on business and IT solutions, and including a series of senior roles during the development of the Intelligent Finance direct service bank in the UK.

Dom McKay

Dom has 20 years blue chip experience in cards, payments, insurance and travel. He has a successful track record in brand and marketing strategy, new product development, portfolio management, rewards and experience engineering …

in both B2C and B2B environments.  He has worked in every region of the world most notably with American Express, MasterCard and HSBC to deliver well-branded, well-marketed card and rewards propositions that are impactful in the marketplace and that deliver success based on premium value, sound economics and brand-enhancing customer experiences.   He has led the development and launch of hundreds of products and services including charge, credit, co-brand and affinity cards, rewards and loyalty programmes, assistance and insurance products, retail, travel and leisure services, 360 marketing campaigns and was the driving force and chief architect behind several industry firsts including Centurion, the original black card, the rollout of the Euro, co-brands with Air France, KLM and Accor and numerous product launches in all the major European markets.

Peter Moran

Peter is an acknowledged expert in the global smart card industry. He has a background in advanced payments systems, and combines practical experience in developing new payments technologies with planning and implementing …

their roll-out and promoting their benefits. Peter has very deep and current experience of contactless payment in the mass transit sector, both in the UK and Europe, as well as deploying the technology in vending, events and convenience stores. He is experienced in working with and for major retail banks, product vendors and the international payment schemes. During his career he has also served on a series of working groups and committees of the international standards bodies.

Clive Leader

Clive has a unique blend of experience in the payments sector, working in banks, payment schemes and with clients across the spectrum of card related disciplines – marketing, strategy, operations and inter-bank environments – …

in over 30 different countries on six continents. He started his career at Midland Bank (HSBC) in a variety of roles, which included heading the bank’s Payment Strategy Unit before taking on the challenge of managing a 24×7 card operations centre. He then moved to Europay, working in business relationship and marketing posts. As a consultant since 1993 he has advised many “blue chip” banking clients on the development of their card payment businesses.

Charlie McIver

Charlie is an operational leader with deep experience in the operations of software, technology and services development organisations with complex products, deployed in complex, often legacy, environments such as banks but also retailers. …

As a P&L owner, Charlie has proven his ability to deliver margin expansion during revenue growth through focus on strong operational practices, effective collaboration, while always maintaining a good grip of the finances.

Charlie is steeped in the payments technology ecosystem, able to understand and work with the detailed technology aspects, but especially capable of understanding, operating and communicating at operational and strategic levels. Charlie’s past technical and operational roles have included 6 years at Postilion International, before moving across to senior roles in the S1 side of the organisation for 3 years, followed most recently by 2 years with ACI Worldwide.