Gulf Expansion Lead

Banking and ExpansionDubai

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Office

Dubai

Team

Banking and Expansion

Job Description

We’re looking for a Gulf Expansion Lead to accelerate our expansion plans in the region, initially focusing on the UAE but also overseeing expansion of other countries in the region. This is a unique and exciting pioneering opportunity to help launch and grow Wise in the region, allowing millions more potential customers to save money by using our services.

This is not your typical business development or relationship role. Over time, you will have full responsibility for overseeing our financial services partnerships, figuring out a new market entry strategy and executing on it, and managing critical relationships with government departments, regulators and banking partners. Through your work, you will have the ability to directly influence our product capabilities in the UAE and other countries in the Gulf region.

What will you be doing?

  • Identify the most appropriate way to launch and grow Wise in the Gulf, starting with the UAE. For new licences, you will need to manage the process end-to-end: understand the regulations, prepare, coordinate and submit the application, and get the regulatory buy-in.
  • Prepare and coordinate documents and applications (i.e. manuals, business plans, forecasts, contracts), as well as support the fulfillment of any other local requirements for the licence applications.
  • Work with the product team for new product launches, potential product changes and new features in the market that would have the biggest impact for our customers. You will be one of the product team’s go-to people for regulatory knowledge, and will lead the early stages of setting the team up with the new product features.
  • Over time, you will build and maintain partnerships with financial institutions (banks, payment companies, card schemes) in the UAE and other Gulf countries. You will lead commercial negotiations, pitch Wise as a client, complete due diligence processes, maintain strong and active relationships with partners, and ensure the technical teams have what they need to integrate with the partners.
  • Together with the compliance team, understand existing and new regulations, figuring out the best way in which our product and setup are compliant with them. We see regulation as an opportunity, and we want you to help us achieve that vision! 
  • Manage the relationship with regulators and other important non-commercial relationships, such as with government departments.

A bit about you:

  • Residing in the UAE or willing to relocate to the UAE, and fluent in English.
  • Experience in regulation, licensing or the payments space
  • At least 8 years of working experience
  • Able to get stuff done. Not afraid to get your hands dirty to deliver what is needed. Bonus points if you have completed a license application in the Gulf region in the past. 
  • Experience of building business relationships and owning negotiations with financial institutions, and also dealing with risk/compliance teams within these institutions.
  • Able to understand financial, payments and FX regulations in a changing regulatory environment in the UAE and in the wider Gulf region and have an interest in AML/KYC and risk controls.
  • An analytical thinker. You have the ability to figure out the ideal operational and commercial process with every new country / partner
  • Excellent at managing external relationships (including regulators and financial institutions)
  • Able to understand regulations across various jurisdictions, and make pragmatic, risk-based decisions on how these need to be implemented
  • Happy to work independently 
  • Willing to help others 
  • Passionate about transforming the financial industry for good
  • You are willing to travel to our global offices as needed

Your mission:

  • Early market product evolution – Identify the most appropriate way to launch current and future Wise products in the UAE and other Gulf markets,  then roll up your sleeves and make it happen. 
  • Manage end-to-end licensing process – If we need a licence, you will need to execute the process end-to-end: understand the regulations, do the application and get the regulatory buy-in.
  • Financial services partnerships – Build and maintain relationships with financial institutions (banks, payment companies, card schemes) and lead commercial negotiations to drive down costs. You will monitor our economics to ensure that our service is competitive; if needed, onboard new Financial Institution partners.
  • Understanding how our product works and managing strategic relationships will be key to finding these new opportunities.

This role will give you the opportunity to:

  • Choose your own path to success – you’ll have the freedom to define the vision and the responsibility for making it happen
  • Gain international exposure –  you will work with our teams in offices around the world as well as meet with regulators and partners in the region
  • Be a part of starting something new by helping launch new Wise products 

We’re people without borders — and without prejudice too. We want to work with the best people, no matter their background. So if you’re passionate about learning new things and keen to join our mission, you’ll fit right in.

Also, qualifications aren’t that important to us. If you’ve got great experience, and you’re great at articulating your thinking, we’d like to hear from you.

And because we believe that diverse teams build better products, we’d especially love to hear from you if you’re from an under-represented demographic.

#LI-WP1

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