Thiel-Backed Bank N26 Hires Finance Chief With IPO Expertise

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N26 GmbH, the German mobile bank backed by billionaires Peter Thiel and Li Ka-Shing, has hired Jan Kemper to become its chief financial officer.

Kemper, who helped steer online retailer Zalando SE’s initial public offering in 2014, will join in the second half of the year, Berlin-based N26 said in a statement on Monday. The company’s co-founder, Maximilian Tayenthal, will give up his position as finance chief and will become co-chief executive officer alongside Valentin Stalf.

N26 is one of Europe’s most valuable non-listed fintechs, fetching a valuation of $3.5 billion in its last fundraising round and attracting investors including Tencent Holdings Ltd., Allianz SE and members of Zalando’s management. The company could be planning an IPO as soon as 2022, people familiar with the matter said in October.

The mobile bank, which launched its first product in 2015, is growing fast, and says it has over 5 million customers. That’s more than double the amount it had in early 2019. The company operates in 25 countries and employs more than 1,500 people.

But N26’s quick expansion hasn’t come without hiccups. The bank abruptly ended its U.K. operations last year, citing the country’s departure from the European Union. In 2019, German financial regulator BaFin ordered the company to bolster safeguards against money laundering and terrorist financing.

N26 strengthened its management with a number of new hires last year. Former Adidas AG executive Diana Styles became chief people officer, while Adrienne Gormley joined from Dropbox Inc. to assume the role of chief operating officer.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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