Sofie Blakstad, CEO
Following an early career in publishing and marketing, Sofie taught herself programming and business design, and subsequently has spent most of her career building banks, including the first online bank for UBS. Having worked for eight major international banks and supported startups, Sofie decided the last thing the world needs is another bank and hence hiveonline was born.
Since launching hiveonline, Sofie has been invited to the World Economic Forum, the G7 and G20 groups and World Bank/IMF Summit in partnership with UNEP, where she is an advisor on fintech applications to sustainable finance, blockchain, identity and trust. Sofie is also a board advisor to the Stockhom Fintech Hub. Sofie’s got a background in research, with a MSc in informatics, and is currently working on her second book with Rob Allen – Fintech Revolution.
Gavin Erasmus, Sustainable Investment Products Lead
Growing up in Africa, Gavin was fascinated by the bush and its ecosystems and wanted to become a conservationist. However, the lure of computers and programming proved too strong and he studied Information Systems, Economics and Strategic Management.
Gavin worked in Africa, Europe and Asia delivering change initiatives across Finance, Energy, Insurance, Paper and Electricity industries. He has delivered global IT transformations and strategic business organisation changes at FTSE100 companies with multi million pound budgets. In 2012, he moved to rural France with his family to restore an old farm, which rekindled his passion for conservation and started him down a path exploring sustainable solutions and circular economies. We’re pleased he’s found a home with us where he can use his strengths and passions across all these areas.
Rob Allen, Board Director
Following experience building Payments and Transactional Ledger Systems in some of Europe’s largest banks, Rob has built the Fintech practice and the innovative Vulcan Digital Asset Services business for PwC Australia. As well as leadership of large, complex programs and portfolios, Rob has extensive experience building engineering solutions in challenging environments and has a passion for promoting inclusion in developing economies. Rob, a Chartered Engineer, is also a committed conservationist with a focus on marine and shark conservation.
Rob is a board member of the Australian Payments Council and is industry advisor to the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA). He is co-author of Fintech Revolution with Sofie Blakstad.
Torbjörn Nilsson, Board Director
Learning how to run a business at young age, Torbjörn Nilsson developed the family company Bandstål into a dynamic and profitable steel service center with clients all over Scandinavia. Today he is the majority holder in a group of Swedish engineering companies with impressive track records. All these companies have been made successful by Torbjörn’s own brand of leadership, filled with a deeply held belief in the potential of his co-workers. The corporate culture Torbjörn strives to infuse into his companies is that of an ecosystem of fearless curiosity and intuitive decisiveness.
Torbjörn has built a reputation as a passionate and creative entrepreneur, with deep roots in Swedish engineering industry and now a firm foothold in the bustling, digital Nordic startup scene. For him, the differences are not as great as some would say, while he sees ample possibilities for cross-pollination, where learning from differences in markets can be applied to all the businesses wholly owned or invested in by Torbjörn’s investment company Sebbot Invest.
Mala Chakraborti, Board Director
Mala Chakraborti is currently the Senior Advisor to the Ericsson Garage, the in-house technology incubator for internal and external startups. Prior to joining Ericsson, Mala was the Vice President Corporate Responsibility at Atlas Copco with responsibility for developing the global sustainability strategy. She has a business and science background, and has entrepreneurial experience from working with (and in) startups, as well as building her own. Mala ranked #3 in the Future Female Leaders list in 2017, and has also been featured as one of the 101 Super Talents in Veckan’s Äffarer , as well as the Stockholm Institute’s Global Swede award for entrepreneurs in 2012.
Matthew Argent, Board Director
Matthew Argent has 19 years’ experience in the financial technology industry. He has started six companies, two of which have sold, one didn’t work out (learning experience) and three that are currently still active. Since the sale of his last company in 2013, Matthew has been a mentor and board advisor/member to European fintech companies alongside advising venture capital firms with their investments.
In 2016, Matthew founded the Stockholm Fintech Hub, Sweden’s independent centre of gravity for Financial Services Innovation. The Hub’s members include regulators, banks, payment providers, insurance companies and of course startups. The Hub also helps companies scale internationally as well as connecting universities, investors and government. Matthew has now replicated this business model in Helsinki and Oslo, with the Baltics coming in Q1 2018.
Matthew Mims, Strategic Advisor
Matthew has worked in several globally significant banks in a number of roles, across both strategy and execution. Spanning investment, retail and wealth banking, his achievements have included designing and deploying bank-wide business critical applications, managing multimillion pound strategic partnership negotiations and leading the integration of a core banking platform with downstream regulatory and financial systems.
Having worked on several startups and social enterprises alongside his financial services career, Matthew has been advising Fintech startups since 2013.