Our Leadership

Our leadership team remains true to our vision and values, putting customers’ evolving needs at the center of our innovation and holding up trust and convenience as the hallmarks of our business.

Hikmet Ersek

Hikmet Ersek

President, CEO, Director

Hikmet Ersek is President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of The Western Union Company, a Fortune 500 global leader in digital and retail cross-border money transfer and payments services.

With more than 30 years of executive experience in financial services, Ersek joined Western Union in 1999 and became CEO in 2010. Under his leadership, Western Union has successfully diversified and evolved its business to become a global payments company.

Significant accomplishments include: growing the company’s digital and mobile offerings; expanding the company’s portfolio into the B2B payments sector; growing its retail money transfer business to more than 550,000 worldwide Agent locations and more than 100,000 ATMS and kiosks; implementing a new technology platform; and significantly upgrading the company’s global compliance programs.

Founded more than 166 years ago, Western Union has become one of the world’s most global companies, serving customers in 200 countries and territories, with a diverse base of agents, frontline associates, and WU employees. A purpose-led company, a remarkably high 80 percent of WU employees contributed to the Western Union Foundation in 2016.

A citizen of Austria and Turkey, Ersek draws on his international background to speak out publicly for the rights of migrants and refugees worldwide. He has been publicly recognized for his commitment to community and corporate responsibility, including as Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine’s Responsible CEO of the Year. A recent recipient of the Best FinTech CEO, and Austrian of the Year Award, he also currently serves as the Austrian Honorary Consul for Colorado and Wyoming.

Ersek is frequently quoted by major global media outlets on business and societal topics such as migration, digital payments, and global business transformation. He is a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and the Business Roundtable.

Ersek began his career in financial services in Europe when he joined Europay/MasterCard in Austria in 1986. A decade later, he joined General Electric (GE) Capital, where he also represented the GE Corporation as the National Executive in Austria and Slovenia.

He speaks English, German and Turkish fluently, and enjoyed a short career as a professional basketball player in Europe prior to his private sector experience.

Ersek holds a Master's (Magister) degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Wirtschaftsuniversität (University of Economics) in Vienna, Austria.

Raj Agrawal

Raj Agrawal

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Raj Agrawal is responsible for the leadership and direction of the finance organization. He is based in Englewood, Colorado, at Western Union’s global headquarters.

Prior to serving as CFO, Agrawal was Executive Vice President and President of Western Union Business Solutions. Agrawal has been with Western Union since 2006 and has held roles of increasing responsibility with the company, including Treasurer and Senior Vice President for Finance in the EMEA/APAC region.

Prior to joining Western Union, he served in a dual role of Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations for Deluxe Corporation. Agrawal started his career in the automotive industry at General Motors Corporation in Michigan, and later worked at GM as a manufacturing engineer. He also held several roles in finance at Chrysler Corporation and at General Mills, Inc., including Assistant Treasurer.

Agrawal holds an MBA from Columbia University.

Odilon Almeida

Odilon Almeida

President, Western Union Global Money Transfer

With a career spanning more than 30 years in global financial, fintech, telecom and fast-moving consumer goods sectors, Western Union Global Money Transfer President, Odilon Almeida leads Western Union’s global consumer business across more than 200 countries and territories.

Odilon Almeida brings a leadership style anchored in growth acceleration and business turnarounds involving retail and digital transformation, organic growth and successful mergers and acquisitions.

With a 16-year tenure at Western Union, Almeida most recently (2016) was the President of the Americas and European Union, leading 98 countries and territories across North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and European Union.

His global business leadership and board experience at Western Union, Millicom, BankBoston (now Bank of America), The Coca-Cola Company and Colgate-Palmolive, has given him deep knowledge of corporate governance, general management, technology platforms, regulatory and compliance as well as consumer insights of developed and emerging nations.

Almeida is also a non-executive director to Nasdaq listed Millicom International, serving as Chairman of Millicom’s Compliance and Business Conduct Committee.

He holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering Degree from the Maua Engineering School in São Paulo, Brazil, a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of São Paulo and an MBA with specialization in Marketing from the Getulio Vargas Foundation, São Paulo. He advanced his education with executive studies at IMD Lausanne, The Wharton School, and Harvard Business School.

Jean Claude Farah

Jean Claude Farah

President, Global Payments

As President, Global Payments, Jean Claude Farah is leading the expansion and growth of innovative delivery channels of the company’s business payments portfolio, enabling Western Union’s transformation from a consumer money transfer provider to a full-service cross-border payments leader for consumers and businesses around the world.

In his previous role as President, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and CIS, Farah was responsible for driving rapid growth in the company’s consumer-to-consumer money-transfer business, adopting innovative delivery channels and making strides in payments to address emerging market opportunities across the region.

Farah joined Western Union in 1999 as Marketing Manager, Middle East & North Africa. He has held a variety of progressively responsible positions with the company, including Regional Director, Regional Vice President, Senior Vice President for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan (MEPA) region and Senior Vice President, Middle East & Africa.

In addition to holding a senior executive role with Western Union, a Fortune 500 company, Farah is a thought leader in corporate responsibility and shared value. He is an active member on the board of directors of the Western Union Foundation.

Farah started his career in 1995 with Renault SA, where he gained extensive experience in marketing. Prior to joining Western Union, he was Area Manager for Orangina Pernod Ricard, one of the world’s leading beverage brands.

Farah, was born and raised in Lebanon and has studied and worked in France. He currently resides in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. Joseph University in Lebanon and an MBA from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris in Paris.

Mike Kalac

Mike Kalac

Acting Chief Technology Officer
Senior Vice President – Infrastructure, Operations, and Cloud

As the acting Chief Technology Officer for Western Union, Mike Kalac defines and leads Western Union’s technology vision and digital transformation, directing strategy and technology investments in the company’s global money movement and payments platform. He oversees Western Union’s development and engineering resources, fintech agenda, technology infrastructure and operations across the firm’s global innovation centers.

In his role as Senior Vice President of Infrastructure, Cloud, and Operations, Mike is responsible for providing the global computing infrastructure, operations, service management, storage and network that enables Western Union’s business operations for employees, agents, and customers. He oversees and shapes Western Union’s Cloud technology strategy and innovation, including the Cloud Center of Excellence. Additionally, he has responsibility for end user computing technology and support across the organization, which includes the global help desk, endpoint management, mobile, and messaging.

He previously served as the Chief Information Security Officer at Western Union responsible for all aspects of Western Union’s global security strategy and information risk management program. Prior to becoming the CISO for Western Union in 2006, Mike served 11 years as the Vice President of Network Engineering for First Data Corporation, Western Union’s prior parent company. Additionally, Kalac held senior positions with such companies as McCaw Cellular One, Octel Communications and Hewlett Packard Corporation. Kalac received his Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Denver’s Daniels School of Business and his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Texas A&M University.

Caroline Tsai

Caroline Tsai

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Caroline Tsai is Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Western Union and a member of its executive leadership team. Tsai is responsible for the overall strategic leadership and oversight of Western Union’s global legal affairs, compliance and corporate secretarial functions. Tsai also oversees the global public policy team, ethics and privacy functions.

Prior to joining Western Union, Tsai was Deputy General Counsel and Chief Regulatory Officer at BMO Financial Group. While at BMO Financial Group, Tsai advised on advocacy and policy initiatives, as well as all bank regulatory and supervisory issues for BMO’s global operations, including Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and Capital Markets. She also served as Chief Legal Officer, U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking.

Earlier in her career, Tsai served as Senior Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Bank of America Corporation where she was responsible for a broad range of issues, including litigation, bank regulatory matters and business transactions. She began her legal career at the global law firm, Jones Day.

Tsai is a strong champion for diversity and inclusion and serves as Co-Chair of the Women's Leadership Network of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tsai is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a juris doctor degree, magna cum laude, from The American University, Washington College of Law.

Richard Williams

Richard Williams

Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and WU Way Global Leader

As Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Richard Williams oversees all aspects of Western Union’s Human Resources functions around the globe. He is also the global lead for the “WU Way,” a program designed to transform the company’s operating model to better enable innovation, improve the customer experience, and drive productivity.

Williams joined Western Union in 2009 as the Vice President of Human Resources for the Americas region. Prior to joining Western Union, Richard worked for Fullerton Financial Holdings (a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings) as its Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai.

Williams also spent more than 17 years with American Express, holding senior human resources roles in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the U.S. In his last role with American Express, Williams was the Vice President of Human Resources for the Latin America, Caribbean and Canada region. Williams also has held senior-level roles with Dunia Finance in the UAE, a joint venture between Fullerton Financial and Mubadalla, and with ACNielsen.

Williams was born in Mombasa, Kenya and has lived in seven countries. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University.

Khalid Fellahi

Khalid Fellahi

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Western Union Digital

As Senior Vice President and General Manager for Western Union Digital, Khalid Fellahi is responsible for ensuring the continued growth and expansion of Western Union in the digital space globally. He is based in San Francisco.

Fellahi, who joined Western Union in 2002 as Regional Director for North Africa, was previously head of the Mobile Transaction Services group (2010). He also held several senior regional positions at Western Union, including the role of Senior Vice President for Africa from 2005 to 2010, where he was responsible for 51 countries.

Prior to working at Western Union, Fellahi held roles within SIS-Groupe Compagnie Bancaire (Paribas) and Price Waterhouse Management Consultants. In addition, he has held senior leadership positions at small and medium enterprises in the service industry.

A Moroccan-French national, Fellahi has an engineering degree from the National Institute of Applied Sciences in France (INSA-Lyon) with a major in Information Technology, and an MBA from INSEAD.

Jacqueline D. Molnar

Jeffrey Hochstadt

Chief Strategy and Development Officer

As Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Jeffrey Hochstadt oversees Corporate Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, WU Innovation and Data - Business Analytics and Insights.

Prior to this role, Hochstadt served in various capacities within Western Union’s CFO organization, most recently serving as Senior Vice President - Head of Financial Planning and Analysis. Hochstadt has been with Western Union since 2004 and has held roles of increasing responsibility, including Director of Strategic Investments and Vice President of Corporate Strategy. He also played a key role in re-launching the wu.com business in San Francisco.

With more than 20 years of experience in Financial Services and Strategy, Hochstadt has held strategy, strategy consulting and investment banking roles at Morgan Stanley, IBM and A.G. Edwards. He began his career as a CPA for Price Waterhouse.

Hochstadt graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jacqueline D. Molnar

Jacqueline D. Molnar

Chief Compliance Officer

As Chief Compliance Officer, Jacqueline Molnar is responsible for spearheading Western Union’s compliance and anti-money laundering (AML) programs.

Under her leadership, many state, national and international regulators and law enforcement bodies have commended Western Union for its technology innovations, AML and other compliance programs, such as developing custom algorithms to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and for assisting with numerous investigations. In 2016 alone, her department prevented 400,000 fraudulent transfers, representing a 794 percent increase from 2010.

In Molnar’s 20 years of experience as an attorney and compliance officer, she has focused her practice on AML and counter-terrorism financing, sanctions, anti-bribery and corruption, consumer protection, fraud and litigation defense.

Molnar also serves as Board Chair of the Western Union Foundation, an organization that supports education and disaster relief efforts as pathways toward a better future. Since its inception in 2001, the Western Union Foundation has paid more than $111 million in charitable giving across more than 137 countries and territories.

Before joining Western Union in 2013 as Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Compliance Officer, she served as Vice President, Associate Global Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Toronto Dominion Bank Group in Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining TD, Molnar was Vice President, Assistant General Counsel at Wells Fargo & Company in Charlotte, North Carolina. She also practiced law at Gibson Dunn and at Latham & Watkins LLP in California, and at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney, Australia.

Molnar received her Doctor of Jurisprudence and her Bachelor of Education from the University of Hawaii and teaches AML Compliance Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law in Honolulu.

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