Russia’s leading SME Fintech Lender SimpleFinance Welcomes Oleg Vyugin and Paul Ostling as Independent Directors
SimpleFinance announces the appointment of Oleg Vyugin and Paul Ostling as the first two Independent Non-Executive Directors to its Board of Directors. The decision to expand the Company’s Board of Directors comes following SimpleFinance’s successful Eurobond placement in June 2017 and two successful equity rounds with SBI Group (Japan) in September 2017 and September 2018.
Oleg Vyugin, former First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Central Bank and Head of the Federal Service on Financial markets, currently on the Board of Directors of PJSC NK Rosneft amongst others, and Paul Ostling, a Director of PJSC Uralkali amongst others, and former Global COO of Ernst & Young, will serve as independent directors to strengthen SimpleFinance’s Corporate Governance, development, and strategic direction. They will be joining the current Board composed of representatives of RedStone Capital and SBI Group, including Campbell Bethwaite, co-founder of RedStone Capital and SimpleFinance.
SimpleFinance is advised by its Advisory Board, consisting of Roman Iliev, one of the founding investors and Chairman of RedStone Capital, a venture investment company with a fast-growing portfolio of successful companies in sectors ranging from real estate technology and e-commerce to fintech, and Yoshitaka Kitao, the Representative Director, President, & CEO of SBI Holdings Inc (Japan). SBI Holdings is a financial services conglomerate group that has developed a wide range of financial business segments, including securities brokerage, banking, insurance, asset management and others.
Alexey Basenko, CEO of SimpleFinance, said: “Since its inception in 2015, SimpleFinance has grown to become the market leader amongst microfinance companies focused on small and medium sized business lending in Russia, with a lending capability of over RUB 5 billion at the end of 2018. Our 2019 plans include strengthening and broadening SimpleFinance as a platform that makes financial services accessible, affordable and understandable for SMEs, with the guidance and expertise of our Directors and Advisors.”
Messrs Bethwaite, Iliev, and Kitao commented that “We are proud of the progress that SimpleFinance has made to become the leader in SME financing in Russia and welcome the expansion of the Board of Directors to implement best practices in corporate governance as well as receive vital insight into key market initiatives. We are excited by SimpleFinance’s expansion plans for 2019 and look forward to more positive developments as we work with Oleg and Paul to further strengthen SimpleFinance’s market leadership.”
Paul Ostling received a Law Degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1973.
From 1995 to 2007 Paul was a member of the Global Executive Council at Ernst & Young Global; from 1995 to 2002 he served as a Global Executive Partner and from 2003 to 2007 as the Global Chief Operating Officer at Ernst & Young.
Between 2007 and 2013 Mr. Ostling served on boards of directors of a number of companies and organizations including JSC PromSvyaz Bank, Uralchem Holding Plc, JSC Mobile TeleSystems, DME Ltd (Domodedovo).
Currently, Paul Ostling is a member of the Business Council for International Understanding, a US-based business association promoting dialogue between the business and the government and is also the President and a member of the Boy Scouts of America Transatlantic Council.
From 2012 to November 2016 Paul Ostling sat on the board of Brunswick Rail Limited, where from September 2015 to November 2016 he was the General Director.
In 2016-2017 — Chairman of the Board of Directors of JKX Oil&Gas.
Since 2016 — member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit Committee of NPO JSC National Settlement Depositary.
Since 2011 – Audit Committee Chairman and since 2018, Senior Independent Director of PJSC Uralkali.
Oleg Vyugin graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University majoring in Mechanics and Mathematics. He holds a master’s degree in Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Oleg is the author of more than 20 research papers and publications on the theory of probability and macroeconomic model building and was awarded the title Honoured Economist of the Russian Federation.
Oleg is currently a member of the Board of Directors, Independent Director of PJSC NK Rosneft and a professor of Economics at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics.
He also holds positions in the governing bodies of a number of companies and organisations: National Association of Stock Market Participants (Chairman), CJSC National Settlement Depository (Deputy Chairman of Supervisory Board), PJSC Moscow Exchange (Chairman of Supervisory Board), LLC Skolkovo-Venture investments (member of Board of Directors), Foundation Centre for Strategic Research (member of Foundation Board), National Committee on Corporate Governance (member of Executive Committee). Oleg is a member of the Public Council of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.
At different points in his career, Oleg held the positions of First Deputy of Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, First Deputy of Chairman of the Bank of Russia, Head of the Federal Service on Financial markets, non-staff counsellor of Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Executive Vice-President of Troika Dialog, Senior Counsellor on Russia and CIS of Morgan Stanley Bank, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MDM Bank.