TALLINN - Former Central Bank chief Vahur Kraft will take up the duties of chairman of the board of the branch of Nordea Bank starting Sept. 19.
"Returning to commercial banking is very interesting for me, and to do it by taking the helm of the Estonian operations of the Baltic Sea region's largest bank offers new opportunities," Kraft said at a news conference on Aug. 30.
Kraft said he had always considered regional cooperation as important for Estonia and was glad to be able to participate in the switch to the euro as head of a commercial bank.
Kraft worked at the Bank of Estonia for 14 years, including 10 years as governor, before leaving in May this year. He had completed the maximum two terms as governor permitted by law and was replaced by Andres Lipstok.
"I'm glad that Vahur Kraft joined Nordea. He has very broad knowledge of what is going on in the Estonian banking market. He has been closely related to it for a long time and this knowledge is very valuable for Nordea's growth plans to materialize," Thomas Neckmar, head of Nordea's operations in the Baltic and Polish regions, said.
He added that Nordea tries to find managers from among locals everywhere it has operations.
Nordea was the number three bank in Estonia in terms of size and had broad customer relationships here, he added.
Christer Rosenstrom, who had been in charge of the Nordea branch, will assume duties with the same group in Finland.
Rosenstrom had been posted with Nordea in Latvia and Lithuania before taking the job in Estonia in late 2003.
With 11 million customers, Nordea is one of the largest banks in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region. It has 40,000 customers in Estonia and 10 offices and service outlets in Tallinn, Tartu and Parnu, plus a representative in the southern regional capital Viljandi.