JPMorgan Chase chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon said on Thursday he intended to expand his office in Greece and attract high-level personnel to the country.
Dimon met Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens two days after it emerged that JPMorgan had agreed to acquire a roughly 49% stake in Athens-based fintech Viva Wallet, subject to regulatory approvals.
“As you know, we plan to grow over time, so this could be a technology hub for JPMorgan Chase around the world,” the bank’s chief said in reference to the Viva Wallet investment.
“Viva is a great sign of the engineering talent” Greece has, Dimon said, adding that it is an area that offers a “great path” for the development of the economy. “I am delighted with the progress you have made in Greece and we are also delighted to buy 49% of Viva,” he added.
JPMorgan acquires minority stake in Viva Wallet
The US giant’s investment in the purely Greek cloud-based payments company, which operates in 23 other countries, will exceed $1.15 billion, according to a report by the financial daily Nafteboriki said.
JPMorgan Chase would have accepted a capital injection of around 200 million euros. Majority ownership and management will remain with Viva Wallet founders Haris Karonis and Makis Antypas.
Viva Wallet was developed exclusively based on its own technology designed and implemented in Athens by Greek engineers only.
Viva Wallet is Europe’s first fully cloud-based neobank using Microsoft Azure with branches in 23 countries across Europe. It is also a principal member of Visa and Master Card for acquiring and issuing services.
The company provides businesses of all sizes with card acceptance services through the innovative Viva Wallet POS app, additional Google Play devices, and through advanced payment gateways in online stores. It also offers business accounts with local IBAN and a Viva Wallet Mastercard business card.
Viva Wallet Holdings has a Greek bank subsidiary (VIVABANK SA) and an electronic money institution subsidiary in accordance with the provisions of the PSD II directive with passporting rights throughout the EEA region.
JPMorgan CEO’s roots in Greece
Mitsotakis noted that JPMorgan’s decision is a “vote of confidence in the country and the economy” and at the same time “confirms the new startup culture that has emerged in Greece.”
In response, Dimon referred to his Greek roots: “I am very proud to be Greek and I always think that if my grandparents were here, three of whom immigrated from the country in difficult times, they would be surprised today. today for two reasons: the first is that I am with the Prime Minister and the second is that I am the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. So that makes me proud for many different reasons.