Netflix’s ‘Skandal! Bringing Down Wirecard’ is a documentary that lives up to its title in every way imaginable by giving us a complete insight into the rise and fall of the titular German fintech firm. After all, it charts not only the company’s accounting malpractices, mafia-like tricks, as well as public deceits but also the extensive efforts of the journalists determined to expose their actuality. But for now, if you just wish to learn more about the individual who essentially kickstarted the ultimate inquiry into Wirecard — whistleblower Pav Gill — we’ve got the necessary details for you.
Who is Pav Gill?
As an only child of a first-generation Sikh immigrant single mother, Pavandeep “Pav” Gill was born and raised in Singapore with seemingly the perfect exposure to the different cultures around. Whether it be his Asian heritage, surrounding Western community, or environments he came across growing up in subsidized housing, they all helped him gain a distinct, international perspective. Therefore, when this got combined with his very early interest in both law as well as IT, he knew he had to pursue a profession that would align with his sense of self while also sparking change.
Pav thus graduated with a Bachelor’s in Legislative Law (LLB) from the National University of Singapore in 2008, just to then quickly establish a name for himself in the financial services sector. It was in September 2017 that he was hired by Wirecard as their first in-house Head of Legal for the entire Asia-Pacific territory, meaning he exclusively reported back to Munich headquarters. Yet everything changed once he launched an external investigation (following his supervisor’s orders) upon being approached in confidence by employees regarding serious cooking of the books.
Several individuals cooperated throughout the ensuing process, and Wirecard’s then-deputy general counsel even permitted copies of the accused finance executive’s email inbox to be taken. However, instead of taking action against the suspected perpetrator when they learned of the inquiry, the top brass actually closed it down for good and soon began harassing Pav to the extremes. “I was then made to endure 3-4 months of intense intimidation,” he once said. “… which culminated in an attempt to send me to Jakarta for a questionable business trip that had no purpose other than to be a one-way ticket. When that failed, I was forced to resign.”
The truth is Pav was determined to just start a new job and move on, but Wirecard allegedly didn’t let him do so in peace by trying to “destroy” him “manfully, professionally, emotionally.” Not only did he suspect he was being followed as well as set up to break his non-disclosure agreements during job interviews, but his neighbors also reported seeing strange men around his apartment. That’s when the attorney’s mother decided enough was enough and pushed him to reveal the information he possessed to the Financial Times, which was already looking into the fraudulent firm.
Where is Pav Gill Now?
Pav Gill actually remained completely anonymous all through FT’s reporting, that is, until well after news of the corporation’s reality broke in 2020 — Wirecard even filed for insolvency. “Now that the malpractice has been uncovered, I felt the time was right to reveal my identity,” he candidly told Dun and Bradstreet during a 2021 interview. “The message is clear: as long as you haven’t done anythin g wrong and stay true to your own principles, you should hold your head up high. It is those who have committed or continue to commit criminal wrongdoings who should live in fear.”
Coming to his current whereabouts, we can positively report that Pav has since relocated to Bangkok, Thailand, where he’s gladly building a new life while still being involved in the fintech industry. From what we can tell, he proudly serves as Chief Legal Officer at the digital asset, payments, crypto exchange, and wealth generation business called Zipmex at the moment. He has previously worked for private corporations such as Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, and King & Spalding, as well as financial institutions like Wise, BigPay, and Wirecard.
“I am more of a transactional lawyer, so sitting behind a desk reading regulations is definitely not my thing,” Pav recently admitted to Masala Magazine in an exclusive interview. “I derive meaning and satisfaction from the work I do by seeing how the products I was involved in from a legal perspective translate into real-life use cases for people.” He then continued, “One of the most important lessons I have learned from my professional journey is that you are learning all the time – whether from your peers, superiors, or subordinates.”
We should mention the attorney does not actually like the word whistleblower because he thinks “it has some stigma, or negative connotations attached to it. It implies you are going against the company which is feeding you, it involves a breach of trust.”