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Operating Partner

Nigel Lee

Nigel has a passion for solving problems. Over the last 20 years he has focused on shaping the landscape of Financial Services, FinTech, payments and digital commerce as a senior executive with some of the largest multi-nationals in the industry.
Always operating in developing markets and particularly in Asia, at Apis he gets to apply his experience to shape the strategy and performance of our portfolio companies and to find exciting companies in South and South East Asia to add to the funds' portfolio.

Prior to joining Apis as a full-time Operating Partner, Nigel was International Head for American Express Prepaid/Mobile/Digital launching products in countries as diverse as China, India, Brazil, UK and Japan. Before AMEX he served as EVP International for MoneyGram. Also, in his previous 5 years, as President First Data Asia Pacific, he created a leading payments business in Asia.

Nigel currently lives in Singapore with his wife Angie. He is a UK, Australian citizen and Singapore Permanent Resident.
A keen fitness enthusiast, he enjoys hiking, running, cycling, skiing and is a golfer playing off a handicap of 4.

Hometown

Swansea & Sydney, Australia

Areas of expertise

Strategy (Business and Technology), Organic and In-Organic Growth, Emerging Markets, Consumer Financial Products, Operational Execution/Performance

Currently located

Singapore, Singapore

Languages

English, French, Mandarin (rudimentary)

Prior Experience

Linkedin profile

Education

Boards & memberships

Swissclear Global Inc.

Advisor to the board

Tapp Commerce

Advisor to the Board

Stoodnt

Advisor to the Board

Areas of focus at Apis

Portfolio Performance / Enhancement, Portfolio Growth in South / South East Asia

Related Companies

What is the most important lesson you have ever learned?

For me life and work have two key pillars – constant teaching and constant learning. I have built a career in Financial Services and FinTech by constantly being exposed to new technologies, challenges and risks, and learning from them. At the same time, I’ve had the privilege to work with great teams in many countries and been able to help them learn from my experiences. Technology is moving so fast that constant learning is core to success. Industries and value-chains are being radically reshaped – this is especially true in the emerging markets where ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and mobile, digital, AI and Big Data are the foundations of change. At Apis I get to help exciting companies and entrepreneurs in emerging and growth countries understand what ‘going through the scaling curve’ looks like. Also, I continue my own learning, and in parallel help shape how economies are re-imagining their Financial Infrastructure challenges.

What are your favourite hobbies?

Anything fitness focused gets my vote. As a family we like to go places where we can hike – up and down Mount Fuji in one day is the extreme example!

What is so important about Financial Services in Growth Markets?

I always look for broader strategic purpose / impact in what I do. For example, working in China with First Data, helping develop the credit and debit card market, I was always aware that for PBOC and the Chinese Government the wider lens was about creating Financial Services infrastructure to increase inclusion, wealth, consumption and long-term economic growth. Across the Growth Markets of Africa, India, South and South East Asia, they are just beginning that journey. The challenge is enormous, the solutions as innovative as they are varied, and Financial Services is key to solving those problems. Lessons in one market, one sector are often transportable to other areas, and the fast pace of change in technology holds the promise that intractable problems yesterday can become the growth engines of tomorrow. That is why Financial Services in Growth Markets are so critical, and it is why the team at Apis get out of bed every day to see impact through every portfolio company we invest in.

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