Walid Hassouna appointed new CEO of valU
By Edlyn Cardoza
EFG Hermes Holding, an impact-driven universal bank in Egypt with the leading investment bank franchise in Frontier Emerging Markets (FEM), recently announced the move of Walid Hassouna from his position as CEO of the Firm’s Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI) platform to focus solely on managing and driving forward Egypt’s leading Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) lifestyle-enabling FinTech platform valU.
The decision to appoint Hassouna as CEO of valU follows the remarkable success the brand has achieved in a short span of 5 years, becoming one of the fastest growing BNPL players in MENA because of expanding its network of locally and regionally renowned partners and continuously charging the market with a multitude of financing solutions.
Recently, the company attracted interest from renowned global corporations such as Amazon and the Alhokair Family. Believing in the growth prospects within the BNPL market and the need for a dedicated leadership to expand valU’s operations further, the management change also prepares valU for potential public or private equity offerings in the medium term.
Hassouna, appointed as CEO of the Firm’s NBFI platform and Group Head of Debt Capital Markets in 2016, boasts a remarkable track record, significantly contributing to the success of valU and the NBFI platform at large. Since his appointment, he has played an undeniable role in enlarging the Firm’s NBFI portfolio to include factoring, e-payments, mortgage finance and insurance and FinTech incubator EFG-EV FinTech that invested in several up-and-coming companies, including Fatura (a recent acquisition by Tanmeyah).
In addition to his role as CEO of the NBFI platform, Walid assisted in building EFG Hermes’ growing DCM franchise. Most importantly, as one of the main drivers behind EFG Hermes’ decision to establish valU in 2018, Walid has been the face of the company since its establishment, hiring and leading a team of great professionals that formulated and executed a disruptive market strategy and spearheaded the venture growing from idea to full implementation. Leveraging EFG Hermes’ unwavering support to the business, Walid’s unique creativity and relentless approach to running valU has seen the business grow from humble beginnings to become the Egyptian BNPL leader and a model for many other start-ups in the market today.
Commenting on Walid Hassouna’s move to focus on valU on a full-time basis, EFG Hermes Holding’s Group Chief Executive Officer Karim Awad said, “I would like to thank Walid for all of his contributions to the success our NBFI and DCM businesses have achieved over the past few years. However, his move to focus solely on the expansion of valU comes at a vital stage in the growth life cycle of the company where it will certainly benefit from an increased independence in its pursuit of growing its footprint and capitalizing on the numerous opportunities in Egypt and beyond. Our strong support and commitment to valU as its parent company and majority shareholder will continue as is given, and we are certain of the great value that it will create for our stakeholders. We are also quite confident of Walid’s leadership and his ability to help the company expand its team, innovate new products, and meet all shareholders objectives.”
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