Digital financial commerce platform Wirecard on Friday announced the appointment of a new chief compliance officer amid several organizational changes.
The management overhaul comes as Wirecard continues to face scrutiny from German financial market watchdog BaFin regarding suspected market manipulation in the company’s stock. BaFin had of late turned its attention to whether Wirecard was communicating with investors directly ahead of the publication of a critical KPMG audit recently concluded.
James Freis will take over as chief compliance officer at Wirecard, effective July 1. He will be responsible for the newly created “Integrity, Legal and Compliance” department, and the legal, contracts, and compliance functions will be bundled under his jurisdiction. Freis has been responsible for compliance at Deutsche Börse AG, Frankfurt, since 2014.
Among other changes at Wirecard includes the expansion of the company’s executive board by two additional seats, increasing its total number of members to seven. A chief commercial officer will be brought in to manage all sales activities, and a chief operating officer will be hired to handle subsidiary cooperation, human resources, and facility management. Wirecard CEO Markus Braun, whose removal was called for by a top investor in the wake of the KPMG report and allegations of “obstacles to the investigation” by the auditor, will shift his future focus toward strategic development.
“This reorganization lays the foundation for the next growth phase of Wirecard AG, which I am extremely pleased about,” Braun said in a press release. “I would like to apologize to all our shareholders, customers, partners, and employees for the turbulence of the past weeks and months. … We will do everything necessary to lead our company from operational success to operational success with a steady hand, but resolutely and unwaveringly.”