Glitnir strengthens Nordic Banking Operations

Nordic bank Glitnir has appointed a new management leader for Norway, Sweden and Finland as part of its ongoing global expansion.

Glitnir bank recently recruited Morten Björnsen, the current Executive Vice President of Fokus Bank in Norway, to head up Glitnir‘s Nordic management team from August 1st 2007. The appointment is seen as a further step forward for the bank in its rapid expansion into the Scandinavian and worldwide markets.

Glitnir first entered Norwegian finance in 2004 and has since then made a further 8 acquisitions worldwide. The bank’s growth has not only been fast territorially – last year Glitnir posted record profits of 435 million Euros, a doubling from the previous year with an equivalent of almost 40% return on equity.

Ship building, offshore supply vessels, fishing and seafood and renewable energy are major industries in Scandinavia and these are all areas that Glitnir offers expertise in. CEO of Glitnir, Bjarni Ármannsson, said of the appointment, “Internationally [Morten] has extensive experience from the energy- and petroleum sectors. They are very important fields for Glitnir, both in Norway and on a world basis.”

Glitnir has entered the world stage with new offices in Canada, Shanghai, Luxembourg and London, as well as in Scandinavia. The Nordic bank was recently involved in financing the world´s largest geothermal district heating utility in China and the arrival of Morten Björnsen may well precipitate other similar large scale energy projects. These new subsidiaries offer the potential for rapid new growth, as has been demonstrated in the Nordic region, especially the lucrative UK market which has already seen Icelandic interest from Baugur Group and Landsbankinn. Glitnir is well-poised for a UK drive with its experience in niche areas such as food manufacturing, fashion retail and investment companies.

Glitnir’s focus on niche sectors has not been its only recipe for success. The bank is proud of its Icelandic approach to business, characterised by its simplified management structure that facilitates quick decision-making. The structure allows for more flexibility and a faster banking service – something which could make Glitnir a serious contender to established, ‘old world’ banks.

Fuelled by the successes of 2006, particularly in its ventures into Norway and Sweden, 2007 will no doubt prove a busy year for Glitnir as it continues to diversify out of the Icelandic economy. There will be further increases in business not only in Scandinavia but potentially out of any of the new offices with the possibility of more acquisitions on the way.

For further information on Morten Björnsen’s appointment and Glitnir’s operations worldwide, visit Glitnir’s website at