After being ten years at the helm of core banking provider Ohpen, founder Chris Zadeh (43) transfers the CEO position to Matthijs Aler (42) per January 1st 2019.
Zadeh started Ohpen out of dissatisfaction with the existing legacy core banking software that never worked. In 2008, he left BinckBank to develop a completely new, cloud-native, core banking platform. "A platform that would always work, guaranteed- and would leave the competition far behind" says Zadeh. In ten years, Ohpen became a market leader in the Netherlands and is still the only full SaaS core banking platform in the world.
Matthijs Aler, an accomplished banker has extensive experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Ohpen he held several positions at BinckBank including: Managing Director of The Netherlands and CEO France where he was responsible for setting up the French branch.
Aler joined Ohpen seven years ago to become CCO and later Chief Operational Officer (COO). He will take over the day-to-day management from Chris Zadeh who will remain affiliated with Ohpen as chairman of the board. Zadeh will focus on the overall strategy, clients and future technology development.
Chris Zadeh: "When we were a startup, we had nothing but our mission to build the best core banking engine in the world. No employees. No customers. No office. After having heard “no” from banks a thousand times and after a million hours of development, we are now a scale-up with satisfied clients; we have moved on from working in a basement to working in offices that accommodate our 150 employees. Matthijs and I have been colleagues and friends for over seventeen years, first at BinckBank and now at Ohpen. He is the one to lead Ohpen."
Matthijs Aler: "Chris already foresaw that banking would go to the cloud when Amazon was still just known as a bookstore and nobody had heard of the cloud. He is a pioneer who literally overcame all obstacles to bring core banking to the cloud. Ohpen was the first company worldwide to gain approval for banking in the cloud by a regulator. Without Chris, the financial services industry would literally have looked totally different."
After ten years of growth under the leadership of Chris Zadeh, Ohpen is the core banking market leader in the Netherlands, has a head office in Amsterdam and a software development hub in Barcelona. Further expansion plans of the core banking factory are well advanced. In 2017 and 2018, a total of € 40 million in investments was raised to allow the company to grow further.
More changes to the Ohpen board to prepare for the next 10 years
In addition to Chris Zadeh, as chairman, Matthijs Aler as CEO and Angelique Schouten as CCO, employee of the first hour, Lydia van de Voort (34) will join the Ohpen Board as Chief of Staff as of January 1st 2019.
Pieter Aartsen, CEO NL, leaves Ohpen on January 1st 2019. Upon the acquisition and successful integration of his company, Fynn Advice in Ohpen, he wants to pursue other interests.
With this composition of the board, Ohpen is getting ready for the next 10 years of growth, Aler concludes: "We are just scratching the surface and prepare for exponential growth of the company.”