Tai-Kei Cheung


Tai-Kei Cheung (TK) 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, TK held several important technical roles at American Express in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

TK’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.

Kamran Yazdanjoo

Chief Technology Officer


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.

Alain Fernando-Santana

Chief Administration Office & Executive Vice President

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.

Shawn Rathje

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Rathje joined Spire Payments as our Chief Financial Officer in January, 2019. Prior to Spire Payments, Mr. Rathje served as a Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of Comverse, Inc., a publicly-traded global leader in billing and mobile messaging products and software services, and was the Chief Accounting Officer of Hypercom Corporation, a publicly-traded global leader in high security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services. Mr. Rathje also served as a Senior Manager in the Audit practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Minneapolis, Chicago and Phoenix. Mr. Rathje holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Northern Iowa.

Graham Lilleystone

Global Director of Operations

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.

Lara Pletcher

Global HR Director

Lara has over 18 years experience in Human Resources, working in Electronic Payments, Security, Manufacturing, Distribution and National Health Service.

Lara is the Chair of the Basingstoke Branch of the CIPD and has a BSc Econ in European Studies.


Her in depth experience includes Change Management, Performance Improvement. Employee Engagement and Talent Management. 

Pedro Gruenholz

Chief Security Officer

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.

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