Shaimaa Elk



  • Top Women Leaders 2020


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Shaimaa joined defi SOLUTIONS in 2019 as EVP, CIO\CTO. Defi Solutions is a financial services company that provides loan origination solutions and auto loan origination software.

Previously, she was a SVP, CTO Origination Solutions at Black Knight.

She graduated from Harvard University with Master's degree in Management and from University of Central Florida where she earned a Masters in Computer Engineering.



  1. Shaimaa Elk possesses a unique combination of strengths: an eye for innovation, a rich and diverse technical background with focus on optimization, and a respect for the human on both sides of the technology. Shaimaa believes that for the most part users don’t want to think about their technology. They want it to do the job they need it to do – with no interruption – to engage and on some level entertain them – and, in other words, to satisfy them. She says that when designing, developing and delivering products and services you must consider the people, work at the pace of the people, and, especially during a transition of systems, deal with sentiment they may have attached to features and functionality. The people behind the scenes and in front of the technology, she says, must be on board with you. Shaimaa is particularly adept at getting people on board and working together. She has taught at university and collaborated with other schools to create curriculum. She has worked on proof of concepts and with teams instrumental in creating the first generation of body-movement controllers for the gaming industry. She has led successful business units in the financial technology industry that demands speed and excellent customer experiences. And, she has guided several companies through divestitures and mergers over the years, most recently in 2019. In August of 2019, Shaimaa was named EVP, CIO/CTO of the new defi SOLUTIONS, formed when two leaders in auto finance technology and services, defi SOLUTIONS and Sagent Lending Technologies, joined forces. This merger came only one year after the divestiture of the unit of business that was to become Sagent Lending from Fiserv, a global provider of financial services technology. The unit was, at the time, growing significantly and Shaimaa, along with current defi CEO Bret Leech and CSO Charles Sutherland, was tasked with co-creating the company – processes, people, technology, strategy for each product, what to move forward, what to leave behind, and with whom. Sagent Lending quickly won the financial support of Warburg Pincus. The new defi SOLUTIONS has the backing of Warburg, Bain Capital Ventures, and Fiserv. As a technology leader, Shaimaa strives to attain an increase in company value from technology strategy alone. At Sagent, the technology strategy contributed significantly toward EBITDA growth. Her goal is to do the same at defi while also merging HR systems, telephone systems, accounting systems, IT and development teams, technology architecture, and handling all the foundational minutia required after a merger. This year, in addition to the merger and normal product and service development, Shaimaa’s teams completed a move of all on-premise applications to the cloud – on time and on budget, an accomplishment Gartner indicates most fail to meet 80% of the time. In addition, her teams handled the implementation of four products in six months for a major captive auto lender and also introduced a new strategic partnership with Microsoft. Shaimaa has been integral in helping companies deliver on financial projections and believes the people are the biggest aspect of a company’s success. She is committed to her team, says it’s her job at times to “sit back, look up, and be present” – advice shared by a mentor – and be a good steward of the company and its team members and current and future customers, its people.

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