Swedish chair for new Arion Bank board

arion-IIPress release: A new Board of Directors of Arion Bank was elected yesterday at a shareholders’ meeting of the Bank. At a board meeting held after the shareholders’ meeting, Monica Caneman was elected Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. The other board members are Gudrún Johnsen, Vice-Chairwoman, Kristján Jóhannsson, Steen Hemmingsen and Theodór S. Sigurbergsson. The alternate board members are: Agnar Kofoed-Hansen, Jóhannes R. Jóhannesson, Ólafur Helgi Ólafsson, María Grétarsdóttir and Gudrún Björnsdóttir.

During the selection process a keen emphasis was placed on appointing directors with diverse educational backgrounds and broad experience of the banking and corporate sectors. The appointments also took into account the particularly challenging conditions in the Icelandic economy and the task of reconstruction facing the Icelandic business sector. Bringing in non-Icelandic board members with far-reaching expertise was a further important consideration. Two of the new board members are from Scandinavia and have broad experience of international finance and are experts in their respective fields. The Chairwoman, Monica Caneman, is the former deputy CEO of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), where she worked for 25 years. Since 2001 she has developed a career around corporate board assignments.

The new board is the first since the Resolution Committee of Kaupthing, on behalf of its creditors and the Icelandic government, reached an agreement on the ownership of Arion Bank. Under this agreement Kaupskil ehf, the holding company of Kaupthing, controls Kaupthing’s 87% share in Arion Bank and appoints four board members, while the Icelandic State Banking Agency controls the government’s 13% share and appoints the fifth board member.

The Board of Directors has been appointed in accordance with the terms stipulated by the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority (FME) on Kaupskil’s ownership of Arion Bank, which stated that the majority of board members, including the Chairperson, should be independent of Kaupthing and individual creditors. In addition, one board member may come from the Resolution Committee. The Icelandic State Banking Agency has appointed one board member in accordance with the proposals of a selection committee. Following the appointment of the board the FME will assess whether the board members meet the stipulated requirements on relevant expertise and experience in the financial sector.

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