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Danske Bank looking for new CEO in wake of money laundering scandal

Denmark's largest lender Danske Bank is looking for a new chief executive in the wake of a money laundering scandal centred on $235 billion in transactions that passed through its Estonia branch.

CEO Thomas Borgen stepped down last month and interim CEO Jesper Nielsen is in charge until a permanent replacement is selected.

Danske Bank last month dropped plans to appoint Jacob Aarup-Andersen, its wealth management boss, as CEO after the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority said he lacked sufficient experience.

Below are some of the people who have been mentioned in the Danish media or by analysts as potential candidates:


The 64-year-old Danish economist has been heading the central bank since February 2013.

He had a baptism of fire as governor in early 2015 when the Danish crown was driven higher by international and domestic investors threatening to break the currency's long-held peg to the euro.

Rohde came to the central bank from a position as head of Denmark's largest pension fund ATP, which he had held since 1998. ATP handles mandatory pension savings for more than 5 million Danes and is under strong political influence.

Before that, he held various managerial and economist positions in several Danish financial institutions since graduating from Aarhus University in 1980.


The 53-year-old Dane has been chief executive of Danish mortgage lender and bank Nykredit since 2013 after spending 13 years at Nordea.

He started his career in the former Unibank, previously one of Denmark's largest, which later became part of Nordea.

In 2016, Rasmussen became one of the most reviled men in Denmark when he led a price rise on housing loans for customers in order to raise capital for a planned stock listing for Nykredit.

The listing was eventually abandoned as backers outside of the stock exchange came forward.

Nykredit declined to comment.


The 49 year old has been head of European Fixed Income and Commodities at Morgan Stanley since 2016 and is one of the most prolific Danes on the international financial scene.

Horder started his career in Goldman Sachs but moved to Morgan Stanley after five years to become chief of the company's life and pension companies in the European Union.

He took on his current job after serving as global co-head of rates for two years.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment.


The 56-year-old Swede is a former CEO of the Swedish bank SEB, one of the largest Nordic banks, and current partner in Swiss bank Lombard Odier, responsible for its finances.

Whilst head of SEB she was ranked the second most powerful businesswoman in Europe by Fortune magazine.

Lombard Odier declined to comment.


Larsen, 54, headed the global investment programme at Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for two and a half years until he moved back to Denmark in the spring and became a board member at Kirk Kapital, the holding company for the family behind Lego toys.

He was chief investment officer at Denmark's largest pension fund ATP from 1999 to 2010, and CFO at Novo A/S (now Novo Holding) for nine months.

He started his career in the Danish ministry of finance then moved to the Danish central bank.


Hellemann, 48, has been chief financial officer at Nykredit since 2016. Before that he was Nordea's head of banking in Denmark for two years. He was permanent secretary in the Danish finance ministry from 2010 to 2014.


Poulsen, 51, has been chief executive of the world's largest offshore wind farm developer, Denmark-based Orsted, since 2012. Before that he headed Danish telecom TDC.

Poulsen has worked for household names such as Novo Nordisk, McKinsey & Co., LEGO and KKR.

Poulsen is also chairman of the Audit Committee at ISS, deputy chairman at Kinnevik and an advisor at EQT Partners.


Stendevad, 45, the former chief executive of Denmark's largest pension fund, ATP, was hired last year as a Senior Fellow at the Connecticut-based hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.

Before his tenure at ATP from 2013 to 2016 he was a Managing Director in Citi's Investment Banking division in New York, heading its global corporate finance advisory team.

Before his 10 years tenure at Citi he worked for McKinsey in New York and Copenhagen.


Danish-born Bonnesen, 62, took over as chief executive of Sweden's Swedbank in 2016. She has held a wide range of senior positions since she began working at what would later become Swedbank more than 30 years ago.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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