Finablr appoints new chief executive

Deloitte partner Robert Miller, who joined the board in October 2019, will take over the reins next year

2AA5PG0 The Finablr logo is seen on an LED screen in the background while a silhouetted person uses a smartphone (Editorial use only)

Payments company Finablr appointed former Deloitte partner Robert Miller as its new chief executive as it finalises a sale to new investors.

The company, a digital payments and foreign exchange group created by BR Shetty, said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that current chief executive Bhairav Trivedi, who was appointed in April this year following the departure of Promoth Manghat, will step down on January 1. Mr Miller joined Finablr's board in October 2019 as group human resources director.

"On behalf of the board, I want to thank Bhairav for his leadership, energy and commitment during a very difficult period in the company's history, culminating in the signing of a definitive agreement with Global Fintech Investments Holding," Finablr’s chairman Michael Tomalin said.

Finablr, which includes the UAE Exchange, Xpress Money, Bayan Pay, Remit2India and Unimoni brands, has endured a torrid year linked to problems at Mr Shetty's companies that led to billions of dollars worth of undiscovered debts being uncovered.

Mr Shetty has claimed he is the victim of a fraud perpetrated by former managers, who forged cheques and other documents without his knowledge.

Finablr floated in April last year in a deal that valued it at £1.23 billion ($1.66bn), but its shares were suspended in March after the UAE Central Bank moved in to undertake direct supervision of its UAE Exchange business. In May, the group said investigators uncovered previously unreported debts of about $1bn, sparking a restructuring that led to its Travelex subsidiary being taken over by its lenders in July.

Earlier this month, Finablr said a sale to a consortium including Switzerland's Global Investment Holding and Abu Dhabi's RSP would fetch a nominal amount of $1. However, the buyers will also pay 25 per cent of any funds recovered from "third parties in respect of possible historic wrongdoing" at the company, up to a maximum of $190 million.

In its statement on Tuesday, Finablr said the sale process "is progressing".