Head of Self-Driving Cars, Yandex
For Giesecke, being an innovative leader in finance means two things: “Building new customer-centric financial solutions and establishing a company-wide financial and analytical competence that evolves with the needs of fast moving and tech-driven companies.”
“I am lucky enough to count myself as part of both,” she says, as the CFO of one of the largest private fintechs globally.
Giesecke, who describes herself as curious and stubborn, began her career with JPMorgan in London and joined the Swedish financial-services provider Klarna around the time it acquired its banking license in 2017. In that role she is helping the fintech through an important period of growth as it aspires to change the way people shop and make payments online, as well as expanding into personal finance services.
In 2020 Klarna has, under Giesecke’s leadership, acquired the Italian startup Moneymour and the British company Nuji, and officially launched in Spain, Belgium, and other places. Last year it raised nearly $500 million in a funding round valuing it at $5.5 billion and solidifying it as the largest private fintech in Europe. In December, it also announced the opening of a new tech hub in Berlin.
“As an industry-leading company, we know we need to be metrics fanatics,” Stockholm-based Giesecke says. “I often think of my role, or any CFO’s role, as leading the productification of finance and analytics.”
In addition to analytics, she holds responsibility for everything from regulation to recruiting, which she considers a key function.
“Diversity is incredibly important but means little without inclusion,” Giesecke says. “I am a black-haired woman of non-Swedish origin, and I have always felt safe at Klarna — and as a leader I aim to ensure my organization also lives up to this.”