VILNIUS - SEB Vilniaus Bankas, Lithuania's largest financial institution, announced on Sept. 30 that CEO Julius Niedvaras would step aside to take over the group's strategic expansion plans for Russia and Ukraine.
The bank did not name a successor to Niedvaras, who has headed the Lithuanian bank for 15 years, but said it would begin a search for a new chief executive from within SEB, the second largest financial group in the Baltics.
Raimondas Kvedaras and Audrius Ziugzda are tipped as the most likely candidates to succeed Niedvaras as president of the bank.
Kvedaras is a member of the management board and first vice-president of SEB Vilniaus Bankas, and Ziugzda is a member of the board and vice-president. Both men have been with the bank since 1992.
Niedvaras' promotion is part of SEB's management reshuffle following the departure of Lars Thunell, who will join the World Bank's executive team. Annika Falkengren, SEB vice-president, will become the group's new president and CEO.
The Lietuvos Rytas daily reported on Sept. 30 that Niedvaras was likely to take over as head of SEB's East European banking division from Mats Kjaer, who is also chairman of the supervisory board of SEB Vilniaus Bankas, in the near future.
SEB is a north European-based financial group with operations in the Nordic countries, Germany, the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.
Vilniaus Bankas became part of the group in 2000 when SEB bought a 97.9 percent stake.
SEB Vilniaus Bankas is targeting a net profit to 134.7 million litas (39 million euros) this year, up 12 percent from 119.1 million litas in 2004.