Fintech startup Wahed expands female leadership with Juliana Abu Bakar as Country Director of Wahed Malaysia

  • Extensive fintech experience as former Head of Digital Wallet for Touch ‘n Go
  • Wahed hopes the hire will pave the way for more diverse talent to join.

Wahed, a New York-based global fintech company that has raised at least US$40 million (RM173.3 million) since its launch in 2016 and counts Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures among its investors, announced the appointment of Juliana Abu Bakar. as national director of Wahed Technologies. Sdn Bhd (Wahed Malaysia). Her responsibilities will include managing local offerings, implementing growth strategies and leading the marketing and business development functions in Malaysia.

Juliana will replace Syakir Hashim, who has captained Wahed Malaysia since its inception. Syakir will join Wahed’s group management as Senior Vice President of Business Operations. Under his leadership, Wahed Malaysia, which launched in October 2019, has acquired more than 250,000 customers and achieved operational profitability.

Commenting on his new role and Juliana’s appointment as country director, Syakir said: “Today, we are one of the leading digital investment managers in Malaysia and I couldn’t be more grateful. I would like to thank the Wahed Malaysia team, the regulators and the wider ecosystem for supporting us.”

Juliana brings years of experience to her new role. As Head of Digital Wallet for Touch ‘n Go, she developed and launched the Touch ‘n Go eWallet as a new product, including obtaining related regulatory approvals from Bank Negara Malaysia. She also successfully enhanced eWallet use cases by collaborating with strategic partners, along with getting online and brick-and-mortar merchants to accept eWallet as a new form of cashless payment.

“The addition of Juliana marks Wahed’s goal to promote a strong female leadership team in the company. We also hope that her decision to be a part of Wahed paves the way for more diverse talent to join us and help us create the best financial services for consumers,” said Syakir.

Juliana’s appointment comes on the heels of Wahed’s announcement that former SEC Director Lori Richards would join its board of directors as the company’s first female director.

“My heart has always been in the fintech industry. What attracted me most to Wahed is the fact that inclusion is his main business goal. I look forward to making the Wahed brand a household name for Malaysian investment needs and thereby achieving our goal of bringing inclusion to the world of finance,” said Juliana.

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