Private equity outfit Finstar Financial has appointed Mark Ruddock from Wonga to oversee a new corporate venture group that will look for opportunities in the fintech space.
Ruddock has been appointed as CEO of FinstarLabs, a special-purpose investment vehicle aimed at expanding the PE firm's fintech portfolio.
At Wonga, Ruddock was responsible for overseeing the company’s businesses outside the UK, including consumer lending operations in Canada, Spain, Poland and South Africa, its investment in the Scandinavian company Folkefinans, and its ecommerce business, BillPay, in Germany. Prior to that he acted as CEO of Canadian mobile startup Viigo, which was acquired by RIM (Blackberry) in 2010.
Nicholas Jordan, CEO of Finstar, comments: “Mark has the gravitas, expertise and sense of entrepreneurial spirit and adventure that will prove invaluable as we embark on a major investment programme to fund the most exciting fintech startups internationally. Mark’s appointment is part of a broader recruitment drive to identify the best talent in the industry to help build the Group’s global footprint in fintech.”
The private equity group, which lays claim to some $2 billion AUM, has this year already established strategic partnerships with Spotcap, an online lending platform for SMEs, Viventor, a peer-to-peer lending platform, Euroloan, a Northern European fintech company, and set up its own portfolio company, Digital Finance International.