Joan Ziegler • Chief Executive Officer/Board Member
Joan Ziegler has more than 25 years of experience in taking startups from a shared vision to execution. Working out of the Silicon Valley headquarters, she leads the Sequent team as the company’s CEO.
Ms. Ziegler is a seasoned board member and senior leader in the FinTech industry with a proven track record of assembling nimble senior teams and ﬁnancing through angels, VCs, strategic relationships and grants. Her leadership style is a consultative approach to establish corporate culture of shared vision, clear accountability and trust across the enterprise.
Ms. Ziegler is currently a member of the board at Fintech licensing consultancy Innov8 Firm as well as co-founder and board member at PrivaSys, a patent licensing portfolio company. She was co-founder and a member of the board at FiTeq, where she designed, developed and licensed FiTeq secure wallet technology on mobile devices and interactive payment cards. She has closed dozens of complex licensing agreements granting intellectual property and technology rights, including 50 US and overseas patents in payment technologies spanning dynamic authentication, tokenization, electronic card assembly and dynamic magnetic strips.
Ms. Ziegler has led innovative licensing that drove massive consumer adoption of software and video games with consumer entertainment brands including Disney's Mickey Mouse, Mattel's Barbie, Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes, and the NBA. She also headed up the Home and Kids studio software business at Mindscape, which was sold to Pearson Plc for $500 million. Ms. Ziegler also served as CEO at ePlay, where she repositioned the multiplayer online game company to achieve profitability.
She is a recognized domain expert in the field of digital transformation and startup culture, having spoken at multiple industry forums and conferences including; Forbes' ‘Navigating the Digital Age’ conference, BayPay Forum, Allen & Company Executive Women and Stanford MIT Venture Lab. Ms. Ziegler is the named inventor on 11 granted patents.
MS Psychology • Florida State University
BA Psychology • Florida Atlantic University
Raaj Shah • Chief Financial Officer
Raaj Shah is a seasoned executive with extensive experience overseeing finance functions of high-growth companies. Mr. Shah is the chief financial officer and a member of the executive leadership team and is based in Hong Kong.
In his role, Mr. Shah is responsible for ensuring that the finance team are set-up to enable the company to continue to drive growth, capitalizing on the growing worldwide demand for solutions empowering frictionless, secure payments in connected digital commerce, through any device or channel.
Mr. Shah joined Sequent Software in 2020, and has more than 20 years of finance, operations and investment experience across a variety of industries, geographies and financial products; having analyzed and modelled the finances of hundreds of companies and interacted with hundreds of management teams. More recently, he served as the founder and CIO at Matchpoint Investment Management Asia Limited.
Mr. Shah is well versed in applying his financial and business analysis and modelling skills as well as his managerial expertise to helping young companies grow and succeed. Prior to Matchpoint, Mr.Shah was a partner at Och-Ziff Capital Management. Mr. Shah began his career as a financial analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette.
BS Economics • Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
BAS Systems Engineering • University of Pennsylvania
Neil MacDonald • VP of Sales and GM for EMEA
Neil MacDonald is based out of the United Kingdom where he leads Sequent Software Inc’s commercial team as well as being a member of the firm’s executive leadership team.
With nearly 30-years in the high-tech industry, following a short stint in the military, Mr. MacDonald has a wealth of experience developing high performing sales organizations focused on revenue generation, business development and ensuring the end customer is delighted with company’s services.
He began his career in Systems Analysis but quickly moved into the sales discipline after realising that selling technology through a consultative and trust-based methodology was more personally rewarding than cutting code. His early sales experience centered around the large-scale hardware and telecommunications industries, working with the likes of Hewlett Packard, Sprint and CompuServe, typically involving sales of new and innovative products. Mr. MacDonald sold BP’s first ever web presence, sold the first hosted/managed Windows Server platform to EDS and through HP Finance created what was later to become Skype.
More laterally, Mr. MacDonald has immersed himself in the tech-startup world, particularly in the Artificial Intelligence and Mobile Software industries, culminating in seven successful start-up exits, valued at over $800m, in the last ten years. His leadership at SwiftKey ensured this ground-breaking Machine-Learning based application was installed on over 300,000,000 devices, leading to the successful acquisition by Microsoft.
Now established as a start-up to scale-up specialist, Mr. MacDonald ensures the companies and teams he leads maintain focus and discipline, making the most of limited resources and time. In addition to his work at Sequent, Mr. MacDonald sits on the board of several other start-up companies, helping them translate their technical excellence into commercial success.
BA Information Systems • Kingston University, London
Richard Nassar • VP of Product Management
Richard Nassar a veteran of the digital payments industry is a member of the executive leadership team in the Santa Clara office of Sequent Software Inc., where he leads the product management activities of the company. In this new role Mr. Nassar is accountable for the vision, strategy and roadmap of Sequent’s product suite.
Dr. Nassar has over 15 years' experience in delivering software solutions for the payments industry, He processes an in-depth knowledge of the digital payments landscape and financial services regulation and their impacts on the banking processes and e-commerce strategies within world-leading financial institutions and merchants.
Prior to joining Sequent, Dr. Nassar worked with Visa Inc, a world leader in digital payments, as Senior Director Product Management and Digital Solutions. During his career with Visa, Richard Nassar led various strategic initiatives for new payment flows that leveraged emerging technologies and communication protocols. He was instrumental in developing the global roadmap that aligned Visa’s goals and objectives for tokenization.
Dr. Nasser has been a frequent speaker at multiple finance services functions where he puts his breath of knowledge in the digital payments industry spanning areas including access, identity management, digital on-boarding, digital issuance and tokenization to use educating the industry of payment industry innovations.
Post-Doctoral Fellow • Yale University School of Medicine
Ph.D. Cellular and Clinical Neurology • Wayne States University of Medicine, Detroit MI
BS Biochemistry • University of Michigan, Dearborn
Darin Nelson • VP of Software Engineering
Darin Nelson is the vice president of engineering and member of the executive team in Seattle, Washington with Sequent Software Inc.
An experienced software industry professional with over 20 years’ service in roles spanning the whole software development lifecycle, Mr. Nelson’s career has seen him work across testing, development, architecture, team management and corporate relations. Mr. Nelson has developed a deep experience in architecture and development of applications, services, and technical team management. His knowledge and skillset span the full spectrum of enterprise and startup development, mobile to scalable services and open to highly secure financial technology.
Mr. Nelson joined Sequent Software in 2012 and leads the firm’s development activities for the "open wallet platform" that secures digital payment channels in today’s world of connect commerce. Prior to joining Sequent Software, Mr. Nelson, worked for Microsoft on the Research Incubation team building products for platforms including iOS, Android, Symbian and Xbox One. Mobile and wireless platforms have been at the heart of Mr. Nelson’s career since its beginning. His early years were spent with AT&T, working with wireless and the emerging technology teams.
BS in Computer Science • Western Washington University, Bellingham
Leslie Tomihiro • VP of Customer Success
Leslie Tomihiro is a seasoned executive with extensive experience championing and advocating customers within financial technology focused companies. Leslie is a member of the executive leadership team at Sequent Software, based in Sequent’s corporate head quarters in Santa Clara, California, where she helps clients across the globe achieve their business priorities utilizing the Sequent Platform.
Leslie joined Sequent Software in 2012 and has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of customer service, from product and project management to implementation and support services. Leslie has worked with companies from start-ups to large, global enterprises, starting her career with Hewlett Packard where she developed her skills in product and support engineering, technical support and end user training.
Prior to joining Sequent Software, Leslie was the technical project management lead at ViVOtech, a leader of end-to-end next generation NFC mobile payments, where Leslie managed NFC payment server applications / services for complex multi-vendor customer trials, pilots and commercial deployments.
BS Computer Science Engineering • San Jose State University
Tony Lau • Chief Information Security Officer
Tony Lau, a seasoned information security, audit and compliance executive is the chief information security officer, head of cloud services and member of the executive leadership team in the Santa Clara office of Sequent Software Inc.
Mr. Lau has over 20 years of security audit and compliance, system architecture, technical operations, IT and professional services experience in the FinTech sector. Prior to Sequent Software Inc., he has held leadership positions at ViVOtech, VeriFone (acquired by Hewlett Packard for $1.2 billion) and Zoho Corp.
In recent years, Mr. Lau’s focus has been on the security and operations within the payment industry. Mr. Lau an active Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) in Silicon Valley with a track record of managing and establishing security policies, procedures and auditable administrative, technical and operational controls that have passed the most stringent payment security compliance requirements including; PCI DSS Service Provider Level 1 (2015-2019); Visa Approved Vendor Program (AVP); MasterCard Global Vendor Certification Program (GVCP).
Over his career, Mr. Lau has managed global data center operations delivering 24x7, 99.995% high availability software as a service (SaaS) solutions from the physical to application layer covering; Trusted Services Manager (TSM) for over the air (OTA) credit card provisioning; High volume prepaid, loyalty card and coupon transactions; B2B marketplace for hospitality procurement.
As a trusted advisor and liaison to security auditors and customers on product application and deployment architecture, Mr. Lau has architected secure system integration for major financial institutions across the globe, enforcing best practice and specified enterprise grade application requirements for availability, scalability, reliability, security, interoperability, maintainability and manageability throughout Software Development Lifecycle.
MBA Computer Information Systems • California State University, East Bay
BS Industrial Engineering • University of Hong Kong