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The Alibaba-backed Singaporean firm that’s quietly hiring bankers

M-DAQ, an Alibaba-backed Singapore-based fintech with a fondness for hiring bankers, has just recruited Societe General director Jason Tay.

Tay is currently a Southeast Asia regional coverage banker for MNCs and large corporates at SocGen, a firm he joined in 2016, following a stint of almost five years as a corporate banker at JP Morgan. He is moving to M-DAQ – a currency conversion platform that reduces the cost of cross-border transactions – as director of regional business development. He will start the new role by the end of this year.

Tay will be selling the M-DAQ suite of FX optimisation products to a network of top-tier corporates in Asia and cementing new business relationships. These products include Aladdin, which gives e-commerce platforms the ability to offer multi-currency payment options to customers, while allowing merchants to receive only their desired currency via a guaranteed-rate FX conversion service.

M-DAQ was launched by Richard Koh, previously APAC head of e-sales at Standard Chartered, in 2010.

That year Koh hired veteran JP Morgan technologist Noboru Takahashi (who we interviewed in 2017) as his CTO. The two men had worked together when Koh ran e-commerce for Asia at JPM between 1999 and 2007.

SocGen’s Tay is not the only banker that M-DAQ has hired recently. Tay’s new line manager is Marco Baggioli, BNP Paribas’ former global head of FX prime brokerage, who joined M-DAQ in March as general manager for business development and chief of staff in the chief executive office.

The company employs about 60 people in Singapore, including plenty of ex-banking professionals, according to LinkedIn. Jimmy Tan, head of treasury and risk, was previously an executive director in FX options trading at Julius Baer, and Hyoshin Cho, director of global business development, spent eight years in FX sales at Citi, for example.

M-DAQ, which is one of Singapore’s longest established fintechs, now processes about S$6.5bn of cross-border transaction a year and achieved full-year profitability in 2018, according to its website. M-DAQ is among the largest fintechs in Southeast Asia and was valued at more than S$300m last year, the Business Times reported. In 2015, it received an investment from Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial as part of its US$87m series C fundraising round.

Image credit: Mike Enerio, Unsplash

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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