Ken joined the WEX team in 2009 and today serves as chief portfolio risk and operations officer. As head of the global risk function, Ken oversees WEX Bank, fraud, credit risk, collections, and other areas of potential enterprise-wide risk that could have significant impact to the company. Ken also serves on the board of WEX Bank.
From an operations perspective, Ken is leading WEX’s efforts to deliver a best-in-class, customer-first experience, with responsibility for the customer contact centers within WEX’s North America Fleet and OTR businesses.
Ken previously served as senior vice president and general manager of WEX’s North American fleet business. Prior to joining WEX, Ken spent 17 years at JPMorgan Chase, and has broad experience in consumer, commercial, and small business financial solutions across payments, savings, treasury, credit, and debit products.
Ken earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook as well as a Master of Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the Association of Financial Professionals and serves on the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Maine.
What brought you to WEX?
After the financial crisis, I was looking at other opportunities in the payment industry and really wanted a better work-life balance. A friend told me about WEX, and when I looked at the company, I realized it was an incredibly customer-focused company, poised for huge growth, and a place where I felt my experience and background could really make an impact.
How do you stay on top of news and trends?
I do so much reading—about everything from payments and fleet magazines to books on blockchain. The payments industry is undergoing so much change; it’s a very exciting time to compete in this space. I also enjoy going to conferences and interfacing with other players in the industry and our customers to get their insights on what’s coming down the pipeline. I find our customers have some very unique insights into the marketplace and how their businesses will be impacted.
What are your personal passions outside of work and family?
I’m really into American history. I think there’s a lot to learn from history on a number of fronts, from personal to business, etc. If I’m ever in a certain state, I’ll look for historic sites to visit. I’ve visited a lot of Civil War battle sites. It’s definitely one of my passions.
How do you foster creative and innovative thinking?
You need to bring the right people into the discussion. Bring in really curious people from diverse backgrounds who are going to ask, “Why, why, why?” I also think it’s paramount to really understand your customer base and to deeply probe for what problems they’re trying to solve. When you look back at some companies that were successful and struggling now, it’s amazing how many of them lost focus on their customers.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be bold and take more risks. It’s too easy in life to get into your own comfort zone.