Team selected to lead Fintoto, RAY and Veikkaus merger

Team selected to lead Fintoto, RAY and Veikkaus merger

Monday, August 15, 2016
Velipekka Nummikoski has been appointed as executive vice president of the enlarged group

The Executive Team to lead the new Finnish gambling organisation into 2017 has been chosen, with the principles tasked with merging the three operators in time for the new year.

Since deciding to merge the gaming operations of Fintoto, slot machine operator RAY, and bookmaker Veikkaus, have been brought under the umbrella of a new group called FRV Evo Oy, although the company will adopt the Veikkaus brand across the whole group once the merger has been completed.

Olli Sarekoski has already been named as the CEO of the expanded group, but now FRV Evo Oy has secured his executive team. Sareksoksi’s number two will be executive vice president Velipekka Nummikoski, who will be responsible for communications, beneficiary and public relations, and sponsorship.

There are also nine new senior vice presidents comprising the executive team;

  • Business Operations Nora Vähävirta, responsible for products, marketing, and brand and product development.
  • ICT Timo Kiiskinen, responsible for gaming and other systems, and the product development process.
  • Customer Relations and Digital Sales Ari Aarnihuhta, responsible for customer relations management, digital channels and services, business and customer intelligence (CI), and customer service.
  • Sales Pertti Koskenniemi, responsible for partnership and sales network, and the Casino.
  • Finance Maija Hjelt, responsible for finance, Business Intelligence (BI), real estates, and service and logistics.
  • Legal Affairs Mari Mustakoski, responsible for legal and contract affairs, and procurement.
  • CSR Pekka Ilmivalta, responsible for corporate social responsibility and security, risk management, Board of Directors and Supervisory Board, compliance, and internal audit.
  • Human Resources Sirpa Ontronen, responsible for human resources and HR development.
  • Strategy and Planning Heidi Ioannidou, responsible for strategy, operational planning and steering, and indicators.

It’s been 11 months since Finalnd’s Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy approved the merger, with the aim to strengthen the Finnish gambling monopoly by establishing a single, wholly state-owned company to operate gambling in the country. At the time it was estimated that c93% of the total demand for gambling is channeled to domestic gambling operators and the Finnish government is keen that figure doesn’t dip any further given the fierce competition online.

The Executive Team of the new gaming company have now assumed responsibility for the preparations for the merger of the three operators. While the major integration is being planned and implemented, the current Executive Teams of Fintoto, RAY, and Veikkaus are tasked with running the present gaming operators until the end of this year.

Totally Gaming Says: As William Hill would argue, the merger of three operators into one body is full of operational pitfalls, but at least Fintoto, RAY, and Veikkaus have the benefit of being under the same ownership in the first place and the monopoly they enjoy means there is little external commercial pressure to take into account. The key will be to make sure there is no dip in the amount returned to good causes across the three operators, which comes to around EUR 1.2bn each year.

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