Press Release

Finastra expands leadership team to position for growth

London, UK – December 9, 2021 – Finastra has expanded its leadership team to position itself to further drive growth and continue supporting its thousands of customers as digital transformation in financial services accelerates. The news comes as the company pivots to a ‘business unit’ led model, welcoming several new executives to the team, and initiating some exciting internal moves.

Changes to the Finastra Executive Leadership Team include:

  • Barry Rodrigues joins as EVP Payments Business Unit
  • Siobhan Byron becomes EVP Universal Banking Business Unit, promoted to the Executive Leadership Team
  • Akber Jaffer becomes EVP Treasury & Capital Markets Business Unit
  • Eli Rosner becomes Chief Digital Officer
  • Ravi Metta joins as Chief Technology Officer
  • Neil Blagden becomes Chief Operating Officer
  • Elona Ruka-Wright, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, promoted to the Executive Leadership Team
  • Simon Dowler, General Counsel, promoted to the Executive Leadership Team

The role of EVP Lending Business Unit will be announced in due course.

The rest of the Executive Team remains the same, under Chief Executive Officer, Simon Paris:

  • Sharon Doherty, Chief People and Places Officer
  • Eric Duffaut, President and Global Head of Customer Operations
  • Carissa Kell, Chief Financial Officer

Barry has built his 35-year career in financial services around the world in leading companies. He was Chief Executive Officer at Barclays Cards and Payments, where he oversaw the digital banks and credit card divisions in the US and Germany, as well as merchant acquiring, corporate card and point of sale businesses in the UK. He brings deep payments knowledge to Finastra. Previously, Barry oversaw all payments products for Citibank on the consumer side of the business and spent 25 years in payments-focused leadership roles at American Express.

Siobhan has deep technology industry expertise, and more than 25 years of experience in IT and channel management and leading and growing prominent technology companies, across a range of sectors. Previously she was SVP, Technology Enabled Managed Services (TEMS) at Finastra, driving the company’s Canadian cheque and lending businesses. She joined Finastra from Westcon-Comstor Canada (a division of Synnex Canada Limited) where she was the Vice President and General Manager, leading the company’s operations in the region.

Akber has spent several years immersed in Silicon Valley tech startups coupled with deep experience of running software and infrastructure based businesses. Most recently, he oversaw Corporate and Business Development activities, as well as the leadership of Finastra's Marketplace and Technology Enabled Managed Services businesses. He joined the company from Colt Technology Services, where he managed its Data Centre Services business, as well as holding various corporate and operating roles.

Eli is passionate about how open platforms, multi-sided networks, data and emerging technologies are providing the foundation for greater collaboration and product innovation, driving the roadmap for long-term customer success. An innovative thinker, he is an advocate for accelerating business transformation through technology, including AI, cloud, open APIs and open development platforms. He was previously Finastra’s Chief Product & Technology Officer. Before that Eli held leadership positions at global technology company, NCR Corporation.

Ravi brings over 20 years of technology leadership and innovative product development to Finastra. He joins from Benefitfocus Inc. where he was previously Executive Vice President, Chief Product Officer & Chief Technology Officer. Prior to that, Ravi held a leadership position at Intuit, driving platform strategy, innovation and product development for consumers, small businesses and accountants, and roles at Dun & Bradstreet, Dell, and Sabre.

Neil owns Finastra’s operational strategy and transformation, including support, success, experience, global and managed services, automation, and IT, as well as overseeing the company’s Cornerstone Businesses – Student Lending, Cheques and Sustained Enterprise Solutions. Having spent over 20 years in leadership roles, he combines genuine passion for better customer outcomes with a pragmatic approach to functional alignment across a business to deliver success. Prior to joining Finastra as Chief Customer Officer, Neil spent several years at Vodafone and Direct Line and also held consultancy positions at PwC, EY and Accenture.

Elona heads up Finastra's global risk management and governance practices and is the company's key liaison with regulatory bodies and auditors. She is accountable for Finastra's Enterprise Risk Management framework including strategy and governance, regulatory compliance and business resilience. Before joining Finastra in March 2018, she spent over 15 years leading and transforming risk management, compliance, security and governance programs at Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and Black Knight.

Simon Dowler sits on the board and is involved in all aspects of Finastra’s business, drawing upon his broad management skills as well as extensive experience in overseeing commercial transactions with customers, suppliers and partners around the world. He began his career as an attorney in private practice working for a leading firm in the City of London, before moving into industry where he held senior roles at a number of well-known international technology companies, joining Finastra in 2008.

Simon Paris, CEO at Finastra said, “This is a significant and exciting strategic step which brings focus to our market-leading product lines by creating business units that center on domain, acceleration and agility. It’s a move that opens growth opportunities for our company, our customers, our partners and our people. I am proud of the strong and diverse team we are building to propel our company for the future, underscoring our position as leaders in Banking as a Service and becoming an orchestrator of global finance. With these leaders at the helm, I am even more confident in our ambitions to do so.”

Speaking about the company’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, Sharon Doherty, Chief People and Places Officer, Finastra added, “Over the last three and half years, with Simon as Finastra’s CEO, we have made strides towards improving equal representation both in our leadership team and across the wider employee population. The tone is set from the top and it is solid progress to now have four women on our executive team, along with more cultural and social mobility inclusion. We have moved from 11% women in our wider senior team in 2018 to over 30% women in our top 200 leaders, as part of our ambition to reach 50% by 2030 or sooner.”

See biographies for the entire Leadership Team on Meet our Executive Team

For further information please contact:

Caroline Duff
Global Head of PR
T: +44 (0)7917 613586

About Finastra

Finastra is building an open platform that accelerates collaboration and innovation in financial services, creating better experiences for people, businesses and communities. Supported by the broadest and deepest portfolio of financial services software, Finastra delivers this vitally important technology to financial institutions of all sizes across the globe, including 90 of the world’s top 100 banks. Our open architecture approach brings together a number of partners and innovators. Together we are leading the way in which applications are written, deployed and consumed in financial services to evolve with the changing needs of customers. Learn more at

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