Network International Holdings Plc: Nandan Mer to succeed Simon Haslam as Group CEO

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Nandan Mer

Network International Holdings plc (“Network” or the “Company”) announces that Simon Haslam, Group Chief Executive Officer has decided to retire from the Company after forty years in the financial services sector. As a result, and following a global leadership search, we are pleased to announce that Nandan Mer, currently MasterCard Strategy Head – International Markets, will succeed Simon as Group CEO effective 1 February 2021. Simon will step down as Group CEO and from the Board of Directors on 31th January 2021 and will remain with the Company throughout his six month notice period to ensure a smooth transition.

Nandan has a proven track record of building and growing businesses over 30 years in a number of global markets with leading financial institutions including American Express, Citigroup, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and most recently at MasterCard.

During his 11 year career at Mastercard, Nandan was Strategy Head for International Markets, President for the Japanese business and Head of Global Consumer Credit and Loyalty Solutions. Prior to that, Nandan was Head of UBA – International Corporate and Investment Banking. Before UBA, Nandan built and led consumer banking businesses for two decades with Citigroup in India, Czech Republic, Israel, Russia and the U.K.

Nandan’s appointment follows a rigorous search and selection process supported by external advisers.

Ron Kalifa, Chairman, said:

“On behalf of the Board and all of our Network colleagues, I would like to thank Simon for his invaluable contribution as CEO and wish him well in his retirement. During his tenure, Simon has led the Company’s transformation into the largest payment solutions provider in the UAE and the leading enabler of digital commerce throughout the Middle East and Africa, and delivered significant growth across all our markets. He leaves behind a strong business and a legacy of success.

I am also delighted to announce Nandan’s appointment as Group CEO. He has a wide breadth of experience across the consumer credit and payment industries in several international markets, including within the Middle East and Africa. Nandan’s strong track record of success with Mastercard and strong sector expertise make him an excellent appointment to lead Network through the next stage of our ambitious strategic growth plans.”

Simon Haslam, commented:

“I feel very fortunate to have led the Company at a pivotal time in its history and surrounded by a strong and committed team. I am proud of leading the change to make Network the pre-eminent provider of

payment solutions in the Middle East and Africa, the world’s most under penetrated markets with regard to digital payments. We have acted decisively to protect the business during the pandemic, and at the same time continued to prioritise strategic focus and investment into areas that will ensure Network can capitalise on future growth opportunities. It is with this in mind that I feel now is the right time to hand over the business for the next stage of its growth. I believe that Nandan is an excellent choice as my successor to drive Network’s future growth agenda. I am looking forward to working with Nandan during the transition period as we continue the work required to complete the DPO Group transaction.”

Nandan Mer commented:

“Network International is a great Company, with great people, and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to help shape its future. I look forward to working with my new colleagues and building on the great foundation and growth potential in the business. My focus will be on delivering for all stakeholders in the business whilst continuing to deliver strong financial returns to investors.”

Other disclosures

Nandan Mer’s appointment terms are in accordance with the Company’s Directors’ Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders (the “Policy”). Nandan will receive a fixed salary of $550,000 (he will also receive an end of service gratuity in line with the UAE workforce but no pension contribution). From his date of appointment, Nandan will be eligible to participate in the Company’s annual bonus plan with a maximum opportunity equal to 200% of annual fixed salary (with a proportion of any bonus paid over 100% of annual fixed salary deferred in Company shares with a three year holding period in accordance with the Policy). In addition, he will be eligible to participate in the Company’s Long Term Incentive Plan (“LTIP”) involving the grant of a conditional share award over Company shares with a maximum value at grant equal to 300% of annual fixed salary to reflect his recruitment which will vest subject to the achievement over a three year period of a range of financial and shareholder return related performance targets. Further details of Nandan’s remuneration, which also includes certain standard benefits in kind and a relocation package, will be set out in the Company’s Annual Report on Remuneration for its financial year ending 31 December 2020.

There are no details required to be disclosed with respect to Nandan under LR 9.6.13R (2) to (6) of the Financial Conduct Authority Listing Rules.

Notes and other announcements

1. As Simon is retiring he will be treated as a good leaver with all payments and vesting of share awards under the annual bonus plan and LTIP being made in accordance with the Company’s Directors’ Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders, the LTIP rules and the contractual terms of the IPO cash bonus and MIP. Full information about Simon Haslam’s remuneration arrangements on leaving will be disclosed on the Company’s website as soon as practicable after he has ceased to be a director, in accordance with section 430 (2B) of the Companies Act 2006.