Insight & Analysis

Press release: J.P. Morgan hires Nikolas Choulakis to run new Payments Innovation Lab in Athens

Published: Sep 2023

6th September 2023 – J.P. Morgan Payments has hired Nikolas Choulakis as Head of its new Payments Innovation Lab in Athens, Greece. This follows the announcement of our expansion in the country, and the new Lab at the end of last year:

Press release news paper

Please see all the details below, with quotes from Nikolas, Mike Blandina (Head of Payments Technology) and Stelios Papadopoulos (Senior Country Office for Greece at JPM).

  • J.P. Morgan Payments made a senior hire in EMEA. Nikolas Choulakis has joined J.P. Morgan as Managing Director, Head of its new Payments Innovation Lab in Athens, Greece.

  • Nikolas is reporting to Mike Blandina, Head of Payments Technology, J.P. Morgan and Umar Farooq, CEO of Onyx by J.P. Morgan.

  • Under Nikolas’ leadership, J.P. Morgan is looking to initially hire around 50 employees to its new Payments Innovation Lab, including payments product and engineering specialists.

  • The Payments Innovation Lab will provide research and development to the Payments business globally, including working with Onyx by J.P. Morgan. Onyx is J.P. Morgan’s business unit that leverages cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain to develop innovative financial services products, platforms and marketplaces for the firm and its clients. From the outset, the centre will concentrate on supporting the development of solutions around distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence and cryptography related to payments systems.

  • Nikolas Choulakis, new Managing Director heading up the Payments Innovation Lab said, ‘Athens is one of the regions emerging innovation hubs and we are excited to tap into both the talent and expertise for the firm and our new Innovation Lab. We believe that joining J.P. Morgan Payments and contributing to both the near and long-term success of the business is a compelling opportunity for technologists.’

  • Mike Blandina, Head of Payments Technology said, ‘We always look to harness technology expertise from across the globe to support our growing payments business. Establishing a dedicated home of innovation, focused on research and development, will set us up for the future. Nikolas will focus on developing solutions around artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology and cryptography related to payments systems. Nikolas will partner closely with other leaders across the Payments business to establish and scale new teams within the Athens site.’

  • Our investment in establishing the Payments Innovation Lab in Athens is a testament to J.P. Morgan’s long-term commitment to Greece. We are looking forward to tapping outstanding talent to help develop new solutions to serve our clients from here”, said Stelios Papadopoulos, Senior Country Officer of J.P. Morgan in Greece.

  • Nikolas joins J.P. Morgan from Frontier Communications based in Dallas, where he was VP of Product Development & Innovation. With more than 20 years of experience across a variety of product innovation roles, he has built and led successful Innovation Labs for several blue chip firms, including Vodafone UK. He holds a masters of research in engineering from UCL in London and he is now based in Athens, Greece.

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