Dennis WallestadGlobal Chief Operating Officer
As Global Chief Operating Officer of Opportunity International, Dennis Wallestad is responsible for achieving the organization's strategic, operational and financial objectives.
In this role, he manages Banking Operations, Community Economic Development, Finance, Innovations, Information Technology, Partner Relationships, Program Management and Transformation Centers to advance the organization's mission and drive economic progress across the developing world. This includes guiding a network of 23,000 people helping 14.3 million clients in 24 countries work their way out of poverty, transform their lives and strengthen their families and communities.
Dennis began with Opportunity International as a consultant in November 2014. Among his contributions, he completed an in-depth analysis of the organization's African banking operations and helped negotiate the recent partnership with the financial technology company MyBucks to help expand financial inclusion of 460 million unbanked and underbanked citizens across the continent. As part of the partnership, Opportunity International will also open Transformation Centers around Africa to deliver specialized programs that respond directly to what clients need to improve their lives.
Prior to joining Opportunity International, Dennis was Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of J.P. Morgan Chase for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) based in London. He was also a member of the EMEA Management Committee and other high-level regional governance forums. Dennis also served as Chief Financial Officer for the Treasury & Securities Services (TSS) Group and was a member of the TSS Executive Committee at J.P. Morgan in New York.
Previously, Dennis was Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of Pershing, LLC and Affiliates, a $1.5 billion subsidiary of The Bank of the New York Mellon Corporation and the world's largest provider of clearing and execution services to brokers/dealers. In this role he was responsible for all of Pershing's financial functions globally plus customer pricing, treasury, business unit controllers, regulatory reporting and credit.
Dennis also served in a variety of senior leadership positions at Strong Investments, Inc., a retail and institutional investment management company with assets of $35 billion under management. Previously, he was also Chief Financial Officer for B.C. Ziegler and Company and Firstar Trust and Investment Group, where he was VP of Operations, Treasurer and Compliance Officer for Firstar Investment Research & Management Co.
Dennis began his career as an audit manager at Arthur Anderson after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Auburn University and a Master's of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Oklahoma University.