​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Advanzia management team is responsible for implementing the strategy and handling the operational management of the company.

Nishant Fafalia, CEO, Chairperson of the Executive Management Committee

Nishant Fafalia, Advanzia Bank

Nishant Fafalia joined Advanzia in March 2023 as CEO.

Before joining Advanzia as CEO, Nishant Fafalia was Investment Director at Kistefos AS (Advanzia’s majority shareholder), and a member of the Board of Directors of Advanzia Bank from 2016 to 2023. In his role as CEO and chairperson of the Executive Management Committee, Nishant Fafalia is responsible for the day-to-day management of the bank with a focus on securing the execution of key strategic priorities, together with Advanzia’s Management Committee.

Mr. Fafalia holds a Master of Science degree from Lund Institute of Technology and a Master of Science degree from Lund University School of Economics & Management.

Kaj Larsen, General Counsel, Member of the Executive Management Committee

Kaj Larsen, Advanzia Bank

Kaj Larsen joined Advanzia Bank in June 2022 as General Counsel.

An expert in regulatory and international business law, Kaj Larsen has worked as in-house and external legal counsel, and more recently held the position of Chief Compliance Officer at Apex Fund Services S.A. and served as Country Head of Compliance for the Apex Group’s entities in Luxembourg. Before that, Kaj held various executive positions with financial institutions including Catella Bank, where he was in charge of the bank’s strategic review. At Advanzia, Kaj is responsible for the areas Legal & Compliance, and brings with him a strong practical understanding of key operating regulations such as PSD2, AML/KYC, as well as FATCA and CRS.

Kaj Larsen holds a law degree (LLM) from Stockholm University (Sweden).

Patrick Thilges, Chief Financial Officer, Member of the Executive Management Committee

Patrick Thilges, Advanzia Bank

Patrick Thilges started working for Advanzia Bank in 2007 as a Business Analyst and played a key role in defining new business opportunities, as well as optimising operational efficiency. He was also instrumental in Advanzia's entry in the French market. In August 2016, Patrick was appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

As CFO, Patrick Thilges has a special focus on diversifying Advanzia’s funding base.

Prior to joining Advanzia, Patrick Thilges was a controller at the Luxembourg headquarters of Arcelor Mittal. He has a master’s degree in Management Science from the Solvay Business School in Brussels (Belgium).

Paulo Bastos, Chief Customer Service Officer

Paulo Bastos, Advanzia Bank

Paulo Bastos joined Advanzia’s Customer Service department in 2008 and was appointed Chief Customer Service Officer (CCSO) in July 2023.

Prior to starting his career at Advanzia, Paulo Bastos worked in customer relations for BGL – Fortis Bank Luxembourg, where he held different positions such as business controller and branch manager from 2000 onwards.

Since joining Advanzia in December 2008, he has contributed to the development and growth of the Customer Service Department. As Chief Customer Service Officer, Paulo Bastos is responsible for driving customer centricity, developing modern and digital customer support services, and offering the best possible customer experience.

Paulo Bastos holds a master’s degree in Economics and Business Management from Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg (France).

Johan Bjurup, Chief Technology Officer

Johan Bjurup, Advanzia Bank

Johan Bjurup started the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Advanzia in March 2024.

He oversees the day-to-day operations of the IT department, with a primary emphasis on ensuring the successful implementation of key IT transformation initiatives. Johan brings a wealth of executive experience in leading large-scale IT organisations and transformations, particularly in the financial services sector across Europe. Prior to joining Advanzia, Johan served as both Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Data Officer (CDO) at RSA Insurance, followed by a tenure as CDO at Ikano Bank.

Johan holds a bachelor's degree in Informatics from Lund University School of Economics and Management.

Linda Früh, Chief Product & Commercial Officer

Linda Früh, Advanzia Bank

Linda Früh joined Advanzia in 2018 as the Head of Business Engineering, was appointed Chief Digital Officer in 2019 and became Chief Product & Commercial Officer in 2023.

At the start of her career, Linda Früh worked in product management for various software companies. During her tenure at Wirecard Technologies from 2007 to 2018, she was involved in developing the company’s online payment solutions. She subsequently headed the Alternative Payments division and was later in charge of Platform Development and Innovations PSP, where she played an instrumental role in the strategic expansion of Wirecard’s global payment processing platform.

As Chief Product & Commercial Officer, Linda Früh drives the bank’s product roadmap, with a strong focus on omni-channel customer experience, developing Advanzia’s Cards-as-a-Service offering, and innovating the customer journey through digital solutions.

Linda Früh holds a degree in Marketing and Business Administration from the Bavarian Academy for Advertising and Marketing.

Frank Hamen, Chief Risk Officer

Frank Hamen, Advanzia Bank

Frank Hamen rejoined Advanzia Bank as Interim Chief Risk Officer in March 2024.

He started his career in 1990 at Bayerische Landesbank S.A. (later renamed Banque LBLux S.A.), specialised in Corporate and Private Banking, where he was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 1999 and Chief Risk Officer in 2012. From 2014 to 2017 he worked in the office of the CEO of the Banque de Luxembourg before joining Advanzia Bank as Chief Risk Officer between 2017 and 2022. Subsequently, following a short sabbatical leave, Frank acted as General Manager of Bauhaus Investment S.A. until March 2024.

Frank Hamen has a bachelor’s degree in Econometrics and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg (France).