Sawa Credit Inc. Announces Its Executive Leadership Team
Fintech startup Sawa Credit Inc., a first-of-its-kind community debt servicing technology platform, announces the appointment of a prestigious executive leadership team. The announcement comes as the company completes its series seed funding round with a $3M capital raise. The four appointees, CEO, CFO, CMO, and CLO, are all deeply experienced leaders in fintech, financial services, or consumer products industries who have found their life’s work in providing capital access to underserved populations. They will play instrumental roles in guiding Sawa in its technological advancement, operational excellence, and strategic growth with the core mission of helping underserved borrowers achieve financial health.
Using behavioral science and machine learning, Sawa’s leaders are building a technology platform and online community that encourages members to help each other in times of need. The goal is to engage passionate, like-minded community members so they frequently communicate and offer hope and financial help, loaning other members money in emergencies to prevent them from defaulting on debts. It’s a community lifeline to help the underserved, who often have nowhere to turn when an unforeseen emergency causes them to default or become delinquent on mortgages or rent payments — possibly leading to eviction, foreclosure, or bankruptcy. Sawa’s founders compare their community platform to a “pay it forward” model for mortgages and rent.
The leadership team appointments include:
Charles Phillips, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Charles is a seasoned executive with deep experience in business and financial development for industrial and technology companies. He has been a sales, marketing, and operations executive at a variety of new and established firms in the areas of infrastructure, software, telecommunications, and professional services. He worked at the Boston Consulting Group, where he analyzed operations and planned strategies for domestic and international corporations. He has been an entrepreneur in multiple verticals, including telecom, defense contracting, private equity, and industrial water treatment. He is a board member of The Center on Rural Innovation, a non-profit that empowers rural community leaders to help support tech-based entrepreneurship and job creation.
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Andrew Henry, Co-Founder & Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Andrew has an exceptional record of performance on Wall Street in his 20 years as a derivatives portfolio manager. He also has an impressive track record as a C-suite financial services professional with extensive expertise in volatility, trading, risk management, compliance, and fundraising. He is a skilled leader in negotiation, consensus-building, and forging alliances across diverse groups to drive growth of organizations and their values. He was previously the co-founder and CFO at CreditIQ, a leading provider of digital retailing APIs to the automotive industry. He also served as an Independent Director on the Kroll Bond Rating Agency. Andrew is heavily involved in his community and has tutored at-risk youth and coached them in a Little League baseball team. In his birthplace of Jamaica, he has helped fund the building of a school and a literacy program on the country’s south coast, where his paternal grandparents were teachers educating several generations.
Aaron Hackett, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
Aaron has over two decades of brand-building, cross-functional leadership, and P&L management experience. He launched product innovations such as Folgers ground flavored coffee and Healthy Choice’s Asian steamed meals, resulting in first-year revenues of $10MM and $23MM respectively. Aaron summarized what he learned as a Procter & Gamble brand manager in his book 80/20 Brand: Brand Building with a P & G Edge. He teaches these concepts at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, where he earned the prestigious Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: CIOS Award. He is a coach for Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X startup incubator where he works with startup founders to help them scale. He serves on the board of trustees of the Atlanta International School as the strategic planning committee chair.
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Neil Peretz, Chief Legal Officer (CLO)
Neil has been General Counsel of multiple high-growth fintech companies, including SmartBiz Loans, the #1 marketplace for SBA-guaranteed loans. He co-founded the Office of Enforcement at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he represented federal agencies in complex financial litigation. He also worked for the SEC and a large international law firm. Outside of his legal practice, Neil co-founded two successful technology startups, and was an investment banker and U.S. diplomat. He is co-inventor on three patents and author of numerous legal publications.
“We have built an exceptionally strong team from diverse backgrounds with a wealth of knowledge to help us launch, thrive and grow,” says Charles Phillips, Sawa co-founder and CEO. “Beyond the impressive resumes and vast work experience of this team, I am mostly excited about our collective passion to change the financial lives of the underserved that will, in turn, help entire communities across this nation build financial stability for generations to come.”
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