Team

Spire Payments benefits from a highly skilled and capable management team with many years of industry experience as well as the financial expertise of KleinPartners, its principal investor.

Tai-Kei Cheung

President

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Tai-Kei Cheung (T.K.) has over 30 years’ experience in the telecom and payments industries encompassing a variety of leadership roles in business development, product management, and engineering. Positions of tenure include: President at NewNet Secure Transactions; Senior Vice President of Research & Development, Equinox Payments; and a variety of roles at Hypercom Corporation, including Vice President of Global Quality & Security, and Managing Director for Asia Pacific region. Before joining Hypercom, T.K. held several important technical roles at American Express in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

T.K.’s global experience in P&L management, process analysis and re-engineering has repeatedly delivered revenue-generating solutions and services across Europe, US and Asia Pacific regions.

Alain Fernando-Santana

Chief Administration Officer
Executive Vice President

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Alain has over 25 years of experience in the electronic payments, military software, transportation, telecommunications and broadcast video industries.  Prior to joining Spire Payments, he was Assistant General Counsel and Vice President of Corporate Development for VeriFone Inc. after holding a similar role at Hypercom Corporation.  In addition to his experience in the payments industry, Alain was also the General Manager of an electronic ticketing Joint-Venture in Denmark between Thales and Accenture, CEO of the Americas branch of a VoIP Telecommunications company, CMO in an international video encoding company and served in various executive appointments within the French conglomerate, Thales SA.

Kamran Yazdanjoo

Chief Technology Officer

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Kamran has over 25 years international experience in executive leadership positions within card payments. Before joining Spire, Kamran served on the Board of Directors of Cubic Transportation Systems Limited as Director of Open Payments.

Prior to this, Kamran was the Vice President of Global R&D at VeriFone Inc. with responsibility for products and services. In this role he led a global organization across Asia, Europe and North America. He also served on the Board of Directors at VFI Pvt Ltd from 2003 to 2009 and had a lead role in a number of key business transformations at VeriFone.

Kamran holds a BSC Honours degree in Mathematics and a post graduate Master of Science degree in Optimization and Computing.

Sue Selby

Chief Financial Officer

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Sue has over 30 years of financial management experience in global companies within the Payments and Security industry. Sue’s previous experience includes similar roles in Hypercom EMEA, Thales e-Transactions, Thales e-Security and the Racal Electronics Group. Sue’s initial training background was with a firm of Public accountants providing accounting, taxation and auditing services to SME’s.

Sue is a Chartered Certified Accountant by profession.

Sami Abugharbieh

Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia

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Sami has over 20 years of experience in delivering POS solutions, value-added services, and transaction networking systems. Before joining Spire Payments he worked for 19 years for Specialized Technical Services (STS), Hypercom’s Master Distributor in MEA. During this period he established sales and support infrastructure for Hypercom throughout the Middle East, assisting key acquiring banks build their POS and networking infrastructure. Based in the Middle East, Sami runs the Spire Payments’ MEA office delivering products and managed services throughout the region.

Sami holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Jordan and a Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, both in Electrical Engineering.

Zdenek Bubak

Central & Eastern Europe

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With over 22 years experience in the electronic payments, ATM and smart card industries, Zdenek has worked at an executive level with Gemplus, Datacard, NCR, Ingenico, Verifone, Global Payments and most recently Hypercom. Zdenek has a strong marketing and business development background, which informed his previous positions as Managing Director of Central Eastern Europe region for Gemplus and Hypercom, as well as his latest role with Spire Payments.

Zdenek holds Degree in Business & Marketing Management from Prague University of Economics, and is fluent in five languages.

Tim Cottrill

UK, Ireland and Northern Europe

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Tim has accumulated over 20 years’ experience within financial technology markets, including the sectors of cash deposit, ATM and card payments. Prior to joining Spire Payments Tim held senior sales and business development positions at Thales e-Transactions and Hypercom in Europe and the Middle East. Tim holds a BA Honours degree in German and French Literature from Durham University in the UK.

Michel Sohrabi

Spain and Latin America

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Michel has more than 20 years of experience in wireless data transmission, security and networking, 10 years of which have been devoted to the electronic payments industry. Before joining Spire Payments, Michel was with Hypercom Corporation where he served as Vice President, Marketing and Business Development for Hypercom EMEA, subsequently holding the position of Vice President and General Manager of Benelux and Scandinavia. Prior to that Michel held various executive Sales, Marketing and Business Development positions within Ingenico Group and COM One Group.

Laurent Tiercelin

France and North Africa

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Laurent has over 20 years’ experience in the electronic payment industry, in particular with the major banks in France. His knowledge of the payment market and new methods of payment has made Spire Payments a major player in the mPOS sector in France. Prior to working at Spire Payments, he has held several key positions in the payment and loyalty industries including Director of the Banking Business Unit at Hypercom (in charge of activities in France and North Africa), Sales & Marketing Director at CEV (dealing with conception, implementation and management of loyalty programs), and Sales & Marketing Director at Thales e-Transactions. His work within the banking sector started at the Schlumberger group. Laurent holds a Master‘s Degree in Business & Marketing Management from EM Lyon in France.

Pedro Gruenholz

Chief Security Officer

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With more than 20 years in the electronic payment industry, Pedro joins Spire Payments as Chief Security Officer. He has previously held technical management positions in the areas of Security, Regulatory Compliance and R&D with VeriFone, Hypercom and Thales e-Transactions.

Pedro’s focus at Spire is to build a team of security experts to deliver a market leading payments infrastructure, which is at the heart of Spire’s new range of products.  His specialism in EMV, PCI DSS and PKI legislation and implementation, together with his knowledge of Smart Cards and NFC, make him one of the most experienced and well rounded security exponents in the industry.

Alain Tailheuret

Global Supply Chain Director

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Alain has over 20 years experience in the management of Supply chain and Procurement Departments. Prior to joining Spire Payments, he was Procurement Director at Schlumberger Oilfied Services. He held similar position at Ingenico for 5 years and joined Hypercom in 2008. In 2011, Alain was appointed Chief Procurement Officer at Equinox Payments.

With a focus on efficiency and working knowledge of plant operations in the UK, Spain and more recently in Singapore, he has developed a high level of expertise in business development.

Alain holds a Master’s degree in International Supply Chain Management with a specialty in Electronics (AICE, Bordeaux France) a Master’s degree in Nuclear Physics and Electronics (Toulouse University, France). Alain speaks French, English and Spanish.

Graham Lilleystone

Head of Global Customer Services & Operations

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Graham has over 25 years of engineering, production and supply chain experience, the majority of which was in medical device manufacturing. Before joining Spire Payments, Graham worked for Miura where he was the SVP operations for mPOS devices. Prior to this, he worked in senior operational positions for Penlon Ltd, CareFusion and Cardinal Health.

His experience includes the management of operations, engineering management, change management, contract manufacturer management, supply chain, production and logistics / distribution.

He is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt trained with a track record of success in continuous improvement projects and also holds a BEng (Hons) Manufacturing Systems Engineering.

Nigel Dean

Marketing Director

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Nigel has accumulated over 30 years’ experience in the payments industry. He has previously worked for market-leading point-of-sale providers, including Racal and Thales, covering multiple disciplines at a senior level encompassing engineering, product management, marketing, and sales. During this time he has been involved in propagating pivotal payment technologies — such as remote terminal deployment, EMV chip & PIN, terminal management and, most recently, mPOS — to multiple diverse global environments.

Nigel holds a Masters degree in engineering and is a well-respected technical author and public speaker, providing clear direction and vision in white papers, case studies and international conferences alike on the complex nature of the ever-developing payments ecosystem.