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Stripe's top compliance guy quit for notoriously low paying competitor

When you leave the highest paying fintech, where do you go? For former chief compliance and anti-financial crimes officer for North America, Dan Alexander, the answer is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) stalwart Klarna. This month, he joins as its  global head of financial crimes compliance and bank secrecy act officer. 

This is somewhat unusual given that Klarna is well known for being an underwhelming competitor when it comes to compensation. However, with looming regulation changes for the BNPL sector, it appears that legal positions at Klarna, which is valued at $6.7bn, can pay very well.

Klarna's engineering pay cannot come close to Stripe's. Of the 25 compensation packages reported for Klarna in 2023 on Levels.fyi, only one makes a TC above $100k. Of course this is impacted by their European-centric headcount, but even a software engineer for Stripe Tax Compliance in their Amsterdam office (where Klarna's HQ is based) can earn a minimum salary of $113.6k.

In America, Klarna's pay is much better. According to the H1B Visa salary database, the job at Klarna with the highest paying salary is a legal director, who earns $227k. A recently recruited legal counsel role on an H1B visa at Klarna in New York earns a salary of $176k. Incidentally, Drew Pietro, senior legal counsel at Standard Chartered in New York, also announced his arrival at the fintech this month, working in litigation.

What makes legal and compliance people so valuable to Klarna? The proposed regulations in the UK offer some hints. Klarna is essentially offering interest free loans, and they will soon impact consumer credit scores. BNPL firms, safe to say, aren't fans of the changes and VC firms are scared to invest. Alexander has extensive experience interacting with North American governments, including "the creation of a new legal entity in Canada," meaning a top goal for his tenure will surely be to prevent or at least mitigate potential damage from similar legislation being implemented outside of the UK.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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