Recent Successes: Highlighting Travillian’s Banking & Fintech Placements at FinWise Bank, Lincoln Savings Bank & Pathfinder Bank

Travillian owes immense gratitude to our clients nationwide for entrusting us to guide them through the challenges of retaining and recruiting key talent. Given the complexity and uncertainly of the present banking landscape, identifying the best and brightest individuals that also fit the company culture has never been more imperative to maximize performance. We are happy to highlight three of Travillian’s recent executive-level placements with clients who have fully embraced this challenge.

For more information about our Banking & Fintech Practice, please contact Brian Love at blove@travilliangroup.com.

FinWise Bank

FinWise Bancorp, the parent company of FinWise Bank recently hired Robert Wahlman as CFO, succeeding Javvis Jacobson, who remained with the bank as Treasurer. FinWise worked closely with Travillian, who conducted a large-scale recruitment engagement, to help attract and fill the CFO role through a nationwide search.

Wahlman is an industry veteran, joining FinWise with more than 35 years of total experience in the banking industry, including nearly 20 years as CFO of both private and publicly listed bank holding companies. Most recently, Wahlman served as the CFO of Axiom Bank and Axiom Bancshares, where he played a role in restoring the bank to profitable operations. Wahlman has also served on three bank boards of directors throughout his career.

Per their press release, Kent Landvatter, CEO of FinWise, said “As FinWise continues to grow and expand its fintech banking solutions products through the upcoming launch of Payments Hub and BIN Sponsorship offerings, we are excited to further strengthen our leadership team… [With} the financial skill set and significant banking industry expertise Bob brings to the company, we are well positioned for our next phase of growth.”

“I am thrilled to join the FinWise team at this pivotal moment in the company’s growth plans,” Wahlman said. “I look forward to working closely with the leadership team to execute the company’s vision and further strengthen its position as an innovative and premier fintech banking solutions provider.”

Lincoln Savings Bank

Travillian successfully introduced technology strategist Abraham “Abe” Rojo Joseph to his new role as Chief Innovation Officer at Lincoln Savings Bank (LSB), Waterloo, Iowa. Joseph has served the technological needs of various financial institutions since 2002 when he worked for Bank of America.

“Our long-standing relationship with Travillian proved invaluable in this search,” remarked Sean Willett, LSB’s President and CEO. “Their approach was comprehensive, well-structured, and efficient. We appreciated the consistent communication and the high caliber of candidates they presented. Travillian’s expertise and professionalism were evident throughout the process, and their commitment to understanding our unique needs was a key factor in the success of this search. We are pleased with the outcome and look forward to the contributions Abe will bring to the team.”

Brian Love, Head of Banking and Fintech remarked, “Lincoln desired an entrepreneurial cultural fit; someone who could be thoughtful, attentive, detailed, intensive, and strategic. Someone with hands-on expertise in bank technology and data, as well as strength in building partnerships with financial technology firms, which is a huge focus for LSB. Abe possessed all of this and more.”

In commenting on his new position and the role that Travillian played in his obtaining it, Joseph said, “The industry connections Travillian has are extensive and deep, both in national reach and in knowledge and understanding of the culture of the banks they work with. My placement at LSB is a perfect fit,” he said. “Travillian invested the time in getting to know me, my career assets, and my professional approach. They then found a position that fit those particulars wholly. I’m excited about this new role. And am grateful to both the leadership at LSB and the professionals at Travillian in connecting me to it. It was one of the best transitions I’ve ever had in 24 years of interviewing and onboarding.”

Pathfinder

Pathfinder Bancorp, Inc. has announced the retirement of its Chief Financial Officer, Walter F. Rusnak, after a distinguished career spanning over forty years in finance, effective June 28, 2024.

Travillian played a pivotal role in the succession process, diligently sourcing and securing Justin Bigham as the successor through a comprehensive nationwide search. Bigham brings to the role a wealth of experience, boasting over 25 years as a seasoned CPA in Financial Services.

Per Pathfinder’s press release, James Dowd, President and CEO at Pathfinder states, “Justin brings deep financial expertise and a broad understanding of the banking sector, including a wealth of knowledge and experience across accounting, retail banking, branch systems, small business banking, wealth management, and marketing. Justin’s experience, leadership skills, and shared values will help drive our strategy and growth ambitions and deliver value. I am excited to work with Justin and welcome him to the Pathfinder family.”


Regardless of the unique composition of your financial institution, whether traditional or innovative, Travillian stands firm as your steadfast recruiter. We take pride in serving a diverse spectrum of financial organizations, ensuring support and expertise every step of the way.

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