News & Views - Savantor

Savantor further invests in Benelux

Wednesday, 04 June 2008
Leon Dhaene to head up Savantor International development in Benelux

Savantor Ltd., a specialist in the provision of business and technical expertise to many well known banks, card schemes, third party processors and hardware/software vendors in the card payment industry, announces the appointment of Leon Dhaene as Managing Director, Savantor Benelux Region.

As part of its international expansion programme, Savantor plans to establish a firm footing in each of their focus markets using a combination of local and international leadership, market understanding and hand-picked expertise. Having recently opened their mainland Europe office in Brussels, the establishment of the Savantor Benelux Region under local leadership is the logical next step in the programme.

Leon Dhaene, a well known international expert in payment cards & systems and business development, will lead Savantor's development in Benelux by building and shaping the resources and approach necessary to help banks and other financial institutions throughout the region, including addressing the next stage of challenges presented by the introduction of the Single Euro Payments Area.

Leon Dhaene has been in payment systems since 1989, in senior positions at Eurocard, Europay and MasterCard.  In 1993, as Regional Manager Central Europe at Eurocard, he delivered Maestro to the world, by enabling the first ever Maestro transaction between the Netherlands and Turkey; a card which is now carried by almost 1 billion cardholders worldwide. Throughout his career, he was involved in launching several innovative card programmes and payment services worldwide; and is recognised as a world leading expert in SEPA.

Rod Nixon, Managing Director of Savantor International said "As we enter the third year of our successful European expansion, this represents a significant step forward for the company. As part of this, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Leon Dhaene to the company. Over the years, Savantor has accumulated unequalled skills and knowledge in helping banks make the right strategic decisions, supporting them in managing through complex change, and improving their operational excellence; all within a very competitive market place. Financial institutions throughout the Benelux region are looking for proven leadership, skills and methodologies to help navigate them through this unprecedented period of complexity and change."

"Benelux banks are gearing up to face a period of intense competition and operational change" added Leon Dhaene. "Existing high performance and low-cost mono-brand payment systems will need to be replaced by new, SEPA-compliant, multi-brand systems.  The implementation of the Payment Services Directive in national legislation will bring particular challenges to the Benelux market. Savantor brings the necessary expertise and skills to the Benelux to support the banks and all other organisations involved, to be successful in the coming years."
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Acquirer Risk Assessment

"The expertise provided by Savantor has greatly helped us evaluate our risk position and to take the right steps in managing our future risks. Strong, disciplined planning and an ongoing willingness to work closely with our staff played an enormous part in making this a very successful well-delivered project which will greatly help us in achieving our business goals."

Mark Healy, Chief Risk Officer - NEOVIA Financial - UK

Payment Specialists

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Idsert Walta, Head of Banking Categories - Nordea - Scandinavia

Complex Cards Business Transformation

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Ricardo Gomez, Director - Operations & Technology - WiZink Bank - Spain

New Payments Initiative

"In moving our new initiative into reality, we required specialist payments knowledge and forward thinking in the retail sector. Savantor supplied this and provided very effective guidance throughout. We enjoyed working with them."

Sophie High, Head of Innovation Delivery - Cancer Research UK

Credit Card Migration and Operational Support

"The bank has undergone significant transformation of its card business on both the issuing and acquiring sides. One business partner we have looked to for support in the areas of strategy, major project leadership, management analysis and ongoing business support is Savantor. The Savantor team has contributed to our success as we have leveraged their deep industry knowledge and broad range of operational skills."

Sean Sheehan, Service Management Director - Bank of Ireland

Issuer and Acquirer Transformation - Assessment and Mobilisation

"We were in urgent need of external independent expertise to supplement our internal resources. Senior consultants had to quickly integrate with a diverse team from across the bank and actively contribute. I am pleased to say that Savantor was able to deliver on our needs as well as being good people to do business with."

Lars Bostrom, Head of Cards - Nordea - Scandinavia

Payments Workshop Material

"Savantor helped ACI build a payments onboarding workshop for new technical staff in ACI EMEA. Their extensive experience took our outline and built a great starting presentation of industry facts that we have now customised further into a half day session that is used for all new joiners. Our Americas and APAC regions have also taken the material and customised it for their regions. A great job by Savantor has meant new joiners to ACI hit the ground running."

Richard Sanders, Principal Solution Consultant - ACI - Worldwide EMEA

Credit Risk Review for New Product Launch

"We needed expert help at short notice and Savantor were very impressive in their response and knowledge. The results were very clear and useful, enabling us to quickly make good progress on the next steps."

Sami Karhunen, Head of Business Intelligence and SME Sales - Point Transaction Systems Oy - Finland

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