Connect to share and comment

Danske Bank fires CEO over lack of experience

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Denmark's biggest bank, Danske Bank, on Monday ousted its chief executive, saying in a bluntly worded statement that the group needed a leader with stronger credentials in finance.

"The board of directors has assessed that -- notwithstanding Eivind Kolding's professional and personal qualities -- it is, in this phase, necessary to have a chief executive officer with stronger qualifications within banking," the bank said.

Kolding was replaced by Thomas Borgen, a Norwegian who until Monday was the bank's head of corporate banking.

"Thomas Borgen is an experienced and customer-oriented banker, who knows how to run a modern bank," chairman Ole Andersen said.

"Thomas is well positioned to make a significant contribution to a renewal of the bank's management culture so that the bank becomes more open, result-oriented and even more focused on the customers," he added.

Danske Bank said its outlook for the current year remained unchanged.

Kolding had spent 11 years on the company's board before taking the helm last year.

During his tenure as chief executive he oversaw a major reorganisation of the bank, which has suffered from Denmark's sluggish economy, the weakest in Scandinavia.

"Kolding has done a great job, but Thomas Borgen's profile is a better fit for this part of executing (the new strategy)," Sydbank analyst Bjoern Schwartz told Danish news agency Ritzau.

Danske Bank reported 7.2-percent growth in pre-tax profit for the second quarter of the year on August 1.

But at the same time the bank revised its full-year outlook downwards because of the "difficult" economic climate, cutting its guidance for 2013 net profits from a range of 7.5-10 billion kroner (1.0-1.3 billion euros, $1.3-$1.8 billion) to 6.5-9.0 billion kroner (872 million-1.2 billion euros, $1.2-$1.6 billion).

"The difficult macroeconomic environment with low interest rate levels combined with the volatility in the financial markets in June... have led us to revise our guidance for full-year 2013," Kolding said in a statement.

nsb/po/jhb

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130916/danske-bank-fires-ceo-over-lack-experience