Wise CFO to quit after CEO says he will step away


London fintech Wise could soon be without both its long-serving bosses, after the CFO today said he plans to leave the firm just days after the CEO revealed he would be taking a multiple-month leave of absence.

Matthew Briers, who has been in his role since 2015, said he will quit the board by March 2024 in order to aid his recuperation from an accident last year. A search for his replacement has begun.

“After almost eight years it's time for me to think about my life after Wise,” he said.

“Wise will likely have many CFOs in its first century and this is simply me starting the process of handing over the reins to the next one. But some of you may know that a year ago I returned back to work at Wise after a quite horrible accident where I went under the wheels of a bus, and so, with this in mind, my focus will shift to making a full recovery.”

Briers suffered from a cycling accident in February last year and temporarily stepped down to make a recovery, while finance director Kingsley Kemish stood in as interim CFO between February and May 2022. His departure to recover is set to come more than two years after the accident took place.

Earlier in May, Wise’s billionaire co-founder and CEO said he would be taking three months off work in order to spend more time with his family.

Kristo Kaarman, who co-founded the London-based fintech in 2011, plans to step away from the firm between September and December 2023 after welcoming his baby son in a move that has been praised by others in the fintech industry.

In a note to staff Kaarman said: “As my family continues to grow (we recently welcomed our second son!), I am going to take my first ever extended Wise sabbatical later this year from September to December.

“This is a fantastic time to do my part in looking after the newborn and giving some breathing room to my wife.”

Briers is set to receive a payout of as much as £3.6 million for the year to end March 2023, according to the firm’s 2022 annual report, while Kaarman is worth £1.1 billion according to the Evening Standard Tech Rich List.