Grab Financial is helping parent company Grab, the $14.3bn Singaporean unicorn, expand well beyond its ride-hailing roots. Its services already include payments, lending and insurance, and it’s now looking to tap the trillion-dollar wealth market in Southeast Asia by offering investment products. All this business expansion is leading to…hiring. Grab Financial has been taking on technologists, economists and data scientists this year, for example, and its current vacancies are focused on risk management.
If you’re going for a job at Grab Financial, you’ll want to know who might ultimately make the decision to hire you. Below is a (non-exhaustive) sample of some of Grab Financial’s most senior people. Encouragingly, if you work in the finance sector, many of them forged careers in financial services before joining the tech firm.
Reuben Lai, senior managing director
Lai began his career at management consulting firm Value Partners, where he worked between 2004 and 2008, latterly as a senior associate in private equity and financial advisory. He then worked for Bain & Co until mid-2015, when he joined The Walt Disney Company as director of strategy and business development. Lai moved to Grab in 2015 as chief of staff and head of business development, and took on his current role last year, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Ankur Mehrotra, managing director, head of financial services
Former banker Mehrotra has held his current role since November 2017. He first joined the company in 2016 as a regional director for business development, and then spent a year focused on creating and raising finance for fintech joint ventures. Mehrotra worked at Standard Chartered from 2008 to 2012, latterly in financial institutions sales as an associate director, before leaving to launch two online platforms for the restaurant industry.
Philip Chew, head of investment and new businesses
Buy-side veteran Chew is one of Grab’s newest senior recruits, having joined in September from US investment firm Dillman Capital Partners, where he spent six year as a managing partner. It was at BlackRock, however, that Chew made his name. He was there from 1997 to 2011 and worked in New York and Princeton, latterly as head of portfolio risk and research, technology platforms and analytics, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Leslie Teo, head of data science, policy and data initiatives
The hiring of Teo is testimony to the growing clout of Grab Financial in the job market. Teo, who joined in August, was chief economist of GIC for more than eight years. He joined the sovereign wealth fund in 2008 as a senior vice president, having previously been a deputy division chief at the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. Teo completed a PhD in Finance, Econometrics from the University of Rochester in 1996, and in 2018 added a Masters in Information and Data Science from Berkeley to his resume.
Gary Wong, head of Grab Pay
As we were the first to report, Wong joined Grab Financial in May 2018 to head up its payments app. Wong previously spent just under four years as OCBC’s head of strategic partnerships, group lifestyle financing. He was at DBS between 2010 and 2014, latterly as a VP of usage and co-brand products.
Wenbin Wong, head of product
Wong, who holds a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College London, started out as an aerodynamics engineer in the Singapore Air Force in 2006. He stayed in the armed forces until 2013, when he took a managerial role at KPMG. Wong was Grab’s director of strategy from 2015 to 2017, and then moved to Grab Financial for a brief stint as chief of staff and head of operations. He’s been in charge of product since last year.
Dan Wascovich, head of design
Wascovich moved to Grab Financial this April from Pixel Labs, a San Francisco news platform that he cofounded in 2015 and then worked for as head of design. Wascovich made his name at Yahoo! between 2004 and 2009, and most recently worked as the tech firm’s head of design for Southeast Asia.
Ser-Jin Lee, head of compliance and government relations
Grab Financial hired Lee last year from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, where he headed the regional development division. Lee had previously spent all his career at MAS, joining as an associate in 2005 and then holding several senior posts, including head of the New York office. He holds postgraduate and bachelor degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago, respectively.
Rajiv Chandna, head of growth, business development and strategy
Chandna did an 18-month stint as a senior director for strategy at Standard Chartered in Singapore before joining Grab Financial in April last year. Prior to that he was with Boston Consulting for six years, latterly as a London-based principal, focused on financial services and corporate development.
Ritwik Ghosh, head of lending business and operations
Ghosh spent 11 years at Oliver Wyman, where he most recently led the consultancy’s SME banking practice in Asia Pacific. Ghosh, who moved to Grab Financial in July 2018, is in charge of lending-focused country teams across Southeast Asia and is responsible for growing Grab’s important lending business.
Image credit: afif c. kusuma, Getty
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