Fintech firm Wise’s CFO resigns just days after CEO announced a 4-month sabbatical leave
UK-based fintech giant Wise’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Matt Briers has resigned from the company, CNBC reported. Wise announced on Monday that Briers, who joined the money transfer firm in 2015, is leaving the company next year. Shares of Wise fell by more than 4% following the announcement.
According to the report, Briers is “stepping down in March 2024 to make a “full recovery” from a cycling accident he was involved in last year. Wise added that is currently at home recovering and his return to work will be gradual.
“I returned back to work at Wise after a quite horrible accident… and so, with this in mind, my focus will shift to making a full recovery,” Briers said in a statement. He also added that he would help support the transition as the company searches for a replacement.
The news comes just 12 days after Wise–formerly known as TransferWise–announced that Wise co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kristo Kaarmann has decided to take sabbatical leave from September 2023 until December 2023 for family reasons. Wise said that Chief Technology Officer Harsh Sinha will stand in for Mr. Kaarmann during his absence from the company.
Wise said that Briers will step down as Wise CFO in March 2024 — after Kaarman returns back from his sabbatical break — to make a “full recovery” from a cycling accident that occurred last year, the company said in a press release Monday.
“After almost eight years it’s time for me to think about my life after Wise,” Briers said in a statement. “I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in these early chapters at Wise and could not be more excited about what is ahead for the business. Wise is growing fast, with a massive opportunity in front of us, and we’ve bucked the trend by working out how to do this profitably.”
Briers was involved in a cycling accident in February 2022 when he went under the wheels of a bus.
Wise is one of the UK’s largest fintech companies with a valuation of $4.8 billion. We covered the unicorn fintech startup back in September 2021 after its Billionaire co-founder and CEO Kristo Kaarmann was fined nearly $500,000 for deliberately not paying his taxes.
Then in June 2022, Käärmann became the subject of an investigation by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after the UK tax authorities found he failed to pay a tax bill worth about $1 million (over £720,000).
Formerly called TransferWise, Wise was founded 11 years ago by two Estonian friends Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus after their frustration with opaque bank charges on international money transfers. They later decided to find a new way to make cross-border transactions at the real exchange rate.