Today we.trade announced that founding COO Roberto Mancone is leaving the blockchain company tomorrow and will be replaced by Ciaran McGowan as General Manager. Under Mancone’s leadership the consortium incorporated in Ireland and its ownership has grown to fourteen banks.
The trade finance project is in the soft launch phase. It went live last year, but since March banks have been onboarding customers with a softly softly approach. Most of the banks are not yet performing full roll outs because they have to train and ready their teams internally. Some banks are expected to start promoting the product in the summer. The target market is SMEs, so that’s equivalent to a retail product roll out. Given the banks are competitors they only know their own plans.
McGowan’s experience is as a CTO and technical project manager. His background is not in trade finance but he has spent both permanent and contracting time at several banks including Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank and AIB. The fact that Mancone’s job title was COO had sounded like it could be an interim role.
Ledger Insights spoke to some we.trade bank shareholders who disclosed that there had always been a mutual agreement with Mancone that he would stay for a year and then it would be reviewed depending on the stage of the company’s development. In the initial stages the consortium had strong support from the IT teams at banks, but it’s now an independent company. One commented that Mancone “is being replaced by a more technical guy because in fact we.trade is a fintech running a platform for banks”. The belief is that the next steps for the fintech require someone more technical.
But there is genuine respect and appreciation for the work done by Mancone. He was a good fit for the stage that’s just ending, for launching the company and hiring the first staff. One commented about Mancone: “He’s a brilliant guy, I’m not worried for him.” The shareholders seem upbeat that the blockchain venture is moving in the right direction.
“The Board welcomes the appointment of Ciaran and is delighted to have a steady hand at the operational helm as we continue to expand our network and push into a commercialisation phase,” said Fernando Lardies, Co-Chairman of we.trade, in a board approved statement.
“Roberto was our founding COO and he was the driver for the establishment of the Company, the enlargement of the shareholder base and successful launch of the platform. we.trade is well positioned for its next phase of growth. The entire Board, thanks Roberto for his outstanding work and leadership and wishes him well in his future endeavours.”
This article has had significant updates