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Visa Appoints European Executive Michiel Wielhouwer to Head Visa Canada

Visa Taps Europe Exec Michiel Wielhouwer to Head Visa Canada

Visa appointed Michiel Wielhouwer as its president and country manager for Visa Canada, saying he will move to that role from his previous one as executive director of Visa’s France, Belgium and Luxembourg business.

Wielhouwer will succeed Stacey Madge, who served in the role for the past seven years and will now focus on board, community and foundation work, Visa said in a Tuesday (March 5) press release.

With 22 years at Visa and experience across five different markets, Wielhouwer joins Visa Canada at a time when it is growing and establishing new ways to pay, according to the release.

“Michiel is a fantastic addition to our North American team, and I am confident that our Canadian clients and Visa team will continue to thrive under his leadership,” Kim Lawrence, regional president of North America at Visa, said in the release.

Wielhouwer said in the release: “I am honored to step into the role of president and country manager of Visa Canada and plan to use my experience from my time in Europe to add value to our partners and the Visa business in this country.”

During Madge’s seven years with Visa Canada, the organization gained new client relationships, FinTech partnerships, product innovations and acceleration of money movement, according to the release. The organization became a hub for talent.

“Stacey is a respected leader in the Canadian payments industry and was instrumental in securing Visa’s current position in the Canadian market,” Lawrence said in the release.

Madge said in the release: “I am very proud to pass the helm to Michiel. His background and experience will be highly valued by the payments ecosystem in Canada.”

Madge spoke with PYMNTS in 2019 about the “She’s Next, Empowered by Visa” initiative, which aims to boost women-owned small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the world through research, experience and technologies.

“We have a long way to go in respect to women entrepreneurs in Canada, and supporting women small businesses is one way we are really keen to make a real step change,” Madge said at the time.

Visa Canada said in January that it will support the entrance of accelerator and venture capital firm Plug and Play into the Canadian FinTech market.

The collaboration will enable the country’s FinTechs to access Visa’s global network; join exclusive, interactive events; and connect with new partners.