The Project

The Founders Bank project is a corporate challenger bank servicing the tech industry, including blockchain and other emerging technologies, aiming to provide banking services on a world class technology platform with a strong emphasis on customer experience and AML/KYC. Founders Bank project is in the process of obtaining a full EU banking license under the regulation of the MFSA and the European Central Bank

The Team

The project has to date hired a senior c-suite, each of whom have more than fifteen years of experience in senior roles in financial services and technology businesses. The team members collectively bring wide-ranging expertise to the venture, having worked in senior regulated roles across various jurisdictions with global blue-chip companies such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays, HSBC, Citibank, Bank of America, Royal Bank of Canada, Brevan Howard, KPMG, Mastercard, Amazon, Paypal and BitPesa.



Kenan Altunis

Kenan Altunis

CEO

Kenan has over 20 years experience in finance at Deutsche Bank. He has led +1000 employee teams, managed billions in revenue, & worked with dozens of regulatory bodies. Kenan heads Founders Bank Project with the same combination of professionalism & expertise it takes to run a leading multinational investment bank.

Paula Pandolfino

Paula Pandolfino

CIO & Co-founder

Paula has over 18 years of investment banking, M&A and private equity experience in London and Malta. She has worked with some of the largest blue-chip banks in the industry, such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays Capital and RBC, managing teams across various sectors of financial markets. She is also a tech investor and entrepreneur having set up a number of businesses from the ground up.

Alex Underwood

Alex Underwood

General Counsel & Co-founder

Alex spent the last 18 years working in the hedge industry, having previously worked in the funds practice at Clifford Chance in London. For 14 years, he was general counsel and chairman of the Executive Committee of Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP and was responsible for the legal aspects of the fund’s global corporate affairs. Alex was a member of Brevan Howard’s Senior Management, where he was responsible for setting and implementing group strategy, and reported directly to the firm’s principal founder Alan Howard.

Lana Burdei

Lana Burdei

COO

Lana is a senior operations professional with over 20 years spent in operations management. Most recently, she held the position of Global Head Banking and Markets Client Due Diligence at HSBC where she ran policy implementation, training, governance, and sponsored CDD transformation. Prior to this, she worked at Barclays running Global Markets and Banking KYC Risk and Control and Deutsche Bank across various products and functions such as KYC, Risk and Control, Settlements and Client Services.

Mark Bamber

Mark Bamber

CFO

Mark joins the team following a 20 year career at KPMG where he advised clients in both the public and private sectors. He has assisted a wide range of international clients seeking to incorporate banking subsidiaries or branches in Malta in gaining necessary approvals from regulatory authorities. Mark has strong problem-solving skills and a commitment to efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and growth, combined with three decades of experience in international business and expansion.

Gail Cox

Gail Cox

Head of Financial Crime Compliance

Gail has over 25 years experience in Compliance and Risk oriented senior executive positions. She was recently the founder of a Hong Kong based financial crime compliance management consultancy firm. Prior to this, Gail was the Asia-Pacific Head of Financial Crime Compliance, International for HSBC. Prior to HSBC, she was Asia-Pacific Regional Head of Core AML functions for Citibank; In the UK, she was UK MLRO and held various Global and Regional AML roles for Deutsche Bank and Bank of America.

Dearg OBartuin

Dearg OBartuin

CTO

Best known for his success in scaling financial service products from concept to delivery, serving millions of active users and facilitating billions of transactions. Dearg has focused his career in finance, payments, cross-border remittance, and banking, bringing a gold standard to security and advocating better local market compliance improvements, at times working directly with regulators such as the FCA, CBN, FDIC and GFSC to help influence policy change. Dearg’s 20 year career has seen him lead global projects with Unilever, KPMG, The Ministry of Defence, London Block Exchange and BitPesa.

Santiago Matheus

Santiago Matheus

CPO

With over 20 years of industry experience in technology and financial services sectors, Santiago works at the intersection of business, design, and cutting-edge tech. He has held executive or corporate development roles in some of the world’s most well-regarded global innovative technology companies, including: IDEO, Method, Method Design Lab (which he co-founded), and AVG Technologies. Santiago has consulted extensively for Mastercard, and through his advisory work, for various financial sector companies, including Engiven, Steam Capital and Barclays.

Yana Afansieva

Yana Afansieva

CCO

Yana has over 15+ years experience in Finance, Compliance, and Project Management, particularly in financial services, blockchain-based payments, e-commerce and FinTech compliance. She is a specialist in: AML, corporate finance, PSD2, payments and e-money regulations, FinTech compliance, data protection, PCI and corporate governance.

Ludwig Mallia

Ludwig Mallia

IT & Data

Prior to joining Founders Bank project, Ludwig held an executive role as a Programme Manager within the IT department of Malta’s largest bank. Before joining BOV, he was employed with MeDirect Bank (Malta) as Head of Core Banking Platforms and spearheaded a number of platform implementations.