First Data, a global leader in commerce-enabling technology, today announced that Kees Kwakernaak will join the organization as the General Manager for Australia and New Zealand.
Reporting to Executive Vice President and Head of the APAC Region Ivo Distelbrink, Kwakernaak will be based in Sydney.
“As a highly regarded leader in the global financial arena, Kees Kwakernaak is a welcome addition to our APAC team,” said Distelbrink. “With more than twenty years of experience, Kees will spearhead First Data’s strategy in Australia and New Zealand as we deliver next generation payment technology to help our financial services and merchant clients grow their businesses.”
Kwakernaak joins First Data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), where he held the roles, including Head of Corporate Sales and Head of GTS Product Management for Australia and New Zealand, as well as Head of Commercial Cards for the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining BAML in 2010, Kwakernaak served as the Head of Payable & Receivable Products, Working Capital Services, at National Australia Bank. Over the years, Kwakernaak has also held a number of senior roles at MasterCard International.
Following entry into Australia in 1992, First Data has become a leading eCommerce and mobile technology provider, complementing its core offerings of issuer processing and acquiring. First Data’s clients in the region include financial institutions and businesses ranging from multinational fuel companies, large retailers, and small to medium sized merchants. The company’s footprint has since expanded to serve clients in 19 APAC countries, including China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
“Given First Data’s unique position at the centre of the fast-paced payments ecosystem, I am delighted to join the organization, especially at such an exciting time,” commented Kwakernaak. “The Australian business has been on a transformative journey and I am keen to accelerate business momentum as we focus on growing our local presence.”