Vice President of Government Engagement, Europe

  • London, UK
  • Full-time

Company Description

Headquartered in California and listed on the NYSE (NYSE:V), Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments.  The company employs over 17,000 people worldwide across 38 countries and provides digital payments products, services and processing to over 16,000 financial institution clients.  Visa partners with 44 million merchant outlets and provides 3.3 billion Visa accounts throughout the world.  Visa is one of the world’s largest retail electronic payment networks.  The company operates one of the world’s most advanced processing networks, VisaNet, offering fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants, capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second.  With a market capitalisation of circa $4000BN, Visa is one of the world’s most valuable global brands (BrandZ 2019) and one of the world’s most innovative companies (Forbes 2019).

Over the last 12 months, Visa made tremendous progress leading a dynamic industry and advancing the growth of digital payments globally. Against a backdrop of geopolitical challenges and uneven global economic conditions, Visa delivered outstanding financial and operating results.

In 2019, Visa completed four strategic acquisitions; Earthport (Earthport operates the largest independent Account Clearing House (ACH) network in the world, providing cross border payments), Payworks (enabling seamless omni-channel experiences), Verifi (improving ecosystem dispute chargebacks) and Rambus (extending tokenisation to non-card transactions).  These acquisitions have furthered Visa’s strategy to advance the growth of digital payments.  With the combination of a partner driven business model to support growth through scale, Visa’s strategic investments will help accelerate the company’s growth and expand into key areas delivering new payment flows, services and capabilities, as well as expanding client reach.  Accessing new and differentiated capabilities will ensure Visa is well placed to deliver a network of services built on the strong foundation for the company to be a truly global leader in payments. 

Visa’s mission is: to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive.  Visa enables money movement for everyone, everywhere. 

In 2019, Visa made significant strides in advancing the goal to be a single connection point for initiating any transaction, both on the Visa network and beyond.  With a relentless focus on innovation, this is the catalyst for Visa to spearhead rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  The company is able to provide the benefits of scale to investments with the ability to accelerate innovation.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying its brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.  2018 witnessed Visa launching a $100M European investment program to support the thriving Fintech ecosystem in Europe and grow its investment activity in start-ups. 

Visa is one of the best performing stock in the Dow 30.  The company has recently reported a strong and healthy set of full year results (October 2019) with net operating revenues of $22.9BN, an increase of 11% from the year prior.  Closing the fiscal year with strong momentum, delivering robust revenue and earnings growth fueled by double-digit increases in payments volume, cross border volume and processed transactions, Visa assumes a healthy outlook in FY’20.  Earnings per share growth (EPS) was 18%, delivering an incredible performance globally with strong business operations in Europe.

Job Description

Vice President of Government Engagement, Europe will be responsible for:

  • designing Visa’s EU strategy for government engagement and public policy to help drive Visa’s business across the EU.
  • for Visa’s government engagement work with European Union institutions as well as national and subnational bodies throughout EU member states, Turkey, and Israel. 
  • leading the EU Government Engagement team in delivering against defined strategies and goals.
  • ensuring that Visa’s public priorities and interactions with the EU, national and sub-national government officials and regulators align with corporate objectives and regulatory requirements to drive business impact.

Resource management

  • Line management responsibility for the EU Government Engagement team, in partnership with Senior Vice President for Europe Government Engagement
  • Responsibility managing the EU Government Engagement team budget
  • Establish trust-based relationships at senior levels across governments and other key stakeholder groups in Europe. Regularly engage directly with lawmakers, regulators, and other external stakeholders to enhance Visa’s brand, reputation and competitive position.
  • Develop and implement an EU government engagement strategy, in close coordination with the Senior Vice President for Global Government Engagement, the Europe executive leadership team and other Visa regional business leaders, to achieve agreed objectives.
  • Manage, develop, coach, and inspire a diverse team of experienced Government Engagement professionals to deliver to their full potential.
  • Recommend and support appropriate contacts and communication channels between Visa’s global and Europe executive leadership and senior government officials throughout the region. Facilitate regular face-to-face briefings with relevant regulators and government officials, leveraging Visa’s regional and global business subject matter experts.
  • Develop Visa’s positions and advocacy strategies on priority legislative and policy issues in coordination with country management and in-market Government Engagement leads throughout the EU (excl. the UK).
  • Seek to develop strategic policy positions that may foster potential business partnerships with national and sub-national government agencies who are engaged in the delivery of services and programs that may benefit from the application of electronic payments.
  • Support Visa’s in-market Government Engagement professionals located throughout the EU region (ex-UK) to establish proactive and constructive relationships with officials at key government agencies (e.g., central banks, Ministries of Finance, Ministries of Technology, etc.) including education of these officials about the value of Visa thereby improving the company’s overall reputation.
  • Work closely with Visa’s Social Impact team, as well as regional governments to drive initiatives, on initiatives to promote financial inclusion, support small-micro entrepreneurs, and other important social impact policy priorities. Partner closely with regional Government Engagement professionals and country management throughout the region to build strategies and engagement plans that increase Visa’s visibility on Social Impact priorities
  • As an expert resource on regulatory issues and government affairs, assist Visa business teams, public officials, Visa clients (issuers, acquirers) etc. and partner with the Head of U.K. Government Engagement, with whom this role should be in close coordination on navigating payments and other laws and regulations relevant to Visa.
  • Conduct a horizon scan to facilitate the influencing and shaping of any proposed new legal or regulatory developments potentially impacting the company in partnership.
  • Be acutely aware of potential global implications of local and regional issues and coordinate their management with Government Engagement colleagues globally.
  • Coordinate public engagement and communications activities with local, regional, and global colleagues across multiple functions including Corporate Communications, Marketing, Legal, Product, Risk and others to ensure consistency and maximum impact.
  • Promote Visa’s reputation and profile by speaking at public events, legislative hearings, industry conferences, association committees and roundtables, etc.
  • Exemplify Visa’s Leadership Principles in collaborating, partnering, and leading others in Visa, Government Engagement and outside of the organization.
  • Sets strategy in relation to use of external regulatory agencies/consultants, and selecting and managing them appropriately.
  • Manage EU Government Engagement team budget, supporting the overall Government Engagement strategy and Visa’s priorities.



Ideal Background and Key Selection Criteria

  • A minimum of 20+ years of experience designing and implementing strategy for government engagement and public policy across the EU, at least 10 of which in leadership roles leading geographically dispersed teams of senior professionals
  • Candidates who bring a combination of leadership experience in both: governmental organisations as well as global corporates will be preferred

Functional Excellence

  • Thorough understanding and significant practical experience of the EU Regulatory environment, laws and policies.
  • Able to develop and articulate positions on complex public policy issues in Brussels and at the member state level. For Visa these include e.g. future of data and payments, and how to make the ecosystem more resilient.
  • Capable of building and strengthening Visa’s relationships with the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and other key financial regulators and policy makers.

Team Leadership

  • Supportive and engaging leader who enables and inspires others; self-confident, but not arrogant.
  • Leads by example and is able to generate respect and loyalty from peers, superiors, and subordinates with a strong commitment to collaboration and servant leadership.
  • Able to act independently but also within a team environment. Ability to grasp complex issues; proven manager of public policy process in a complex environment.

Global mindset in leadership

  • Combination of political and commercially robust business acumen; understanding of both corporate and political environments. Creative and resourceful in overcoming barriers and unexpected roadblocks. Comfortable with ambiguous and change-led environments.
  • Able to work collaboratively and effectively across jurisdictions and cultures, building strong relationships, influencing proactively and gaining results. Integrity and trustworthiness are critical success factors.
  • Able to grasp complex issues; proven manager of public policy process in uncertain, volatile, ambiguous environments. Rigorous problem solving skills with the ability to get into the detail and acclimatize to see the bigger picture. A focus on people development, talent management and team building. Cross cultural sensitivity. Strong people management and leadership skills.

Additional Information

Visa will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with EEOC guidelines and applicable local law.

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