President and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon said on Thursday that he intends to expand its office in Greece and to attract high-level staff to the country.
Dimon met Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens two days after it emerged that JPMorgan had agreed to acquire an around 49% stake in Athens-based payments fintech Viva Wallet, subject to regulatory approvals.
“As you know, we have plans to expand over time, so this could be a technology hub for JPMorgan Chase around the world,” the banking chief said referring to the investment in Viva Wallet.
“Viva is a great sign of the talent in the field of engineering” that Greece has, said Mr. Dimon, adding that it is a field that offers an “excellent way” for the development of the economy. “I am excited about the progress you have made in Greece and we are also excited to buy 49% of Viva,” he added.
JPMorgan acquires minority stake in Viva Wallet
The American giant’s investment in the purely Greek cloud-based payment company, which operates in 23 more countries, will exceed $ 1.15 billion, a report in financial daily Nafteboriki says.
JPMorgan Chase has reportedly agreed to a capital injection of approximately 200 million euros. The majority stake as well as the management will remain with the founders of Viva Wallet, Haris Karonis and Makis Antypas.
Viva Wallet has been developed based exclusively on its own technology designed and implemented in Athens by Greek engineers only.
Viva Wallet is the first European entirely cloud-based neobank using Microsoft Azure with branches in 23 countries in Europe. It also is a Principal Member of Visa and Master Card for acquiring and issuing services.
The company provides businesses of all sizes card acceptance services through the innovative Viva Wallet POS app, add-on Google Play devices and through advanced payment gateways in online stores. It also offers business accounts with local IBAN and a business Viva Wallet Mastercard card.
Viva Wallet Holdings owns a subsidiary Greek banking company (VIVABANK SA) and a subsidiary E-money Institution as per PSD II Directive provisions with pass porting rights across the entire EEA Region.
JPMorgan CEO’s roots in Greece
Mitsotakis noted that JPMorgan’s decision is a “vote of confidence in the country and the economy” and at the same time “confirms the new culture of startups that has appeared in Greece.”
Replying Dimon referred to his Greek roots: “I am very proud to be Greek and I always think that if my grandparents were here, three of whom immigrated from the country in difficult times, they would be surprised today for two reasons: one is that I am with the Prime Minister and the second is that I am the President and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. So that makes me proud for many different reasons.”
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