Nordea picks new chairman in a flash

  • 2003-12-18
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - A switch in the leadership of Nordea Bank in Estonia has left managers and employees scratching their heads and at least two others packing their offices.

The sudden replacement of Juhani Seilenthal, former chairman of the bank's branch in Estonia, came as unexpected news to many. Thomas Neckmar, head of Nordea for Poland and the Baltic states, denied any connection between this chairman change and the firing of a bank executive in Denmark only one day before for involvement in fraud.
Neckmar explained that Seilenthal was asked to step down because of his vision of future development. He said that the two agreed upon strategy, vision and objectives, differences of opinion remained with regards to how to reach targets. His comments, however, intrigued Seilenthal, who responded in an interview with the Aripaev daily.
"There was an interesting claim [by Neckmar] that the strategy will remain the same, but still we were unable to agree on the future. I can say that I have worked under five excellent leaders and the last two years, five months and 10 days under Neckmar. This should say it all," said Seilenthal.
The bank selected Christer Rosenstrom, a Finnish citizen, as his replacement as board chairman effective Dec. 11. Rosenstrom, 41, who has been employed by Nordea since 1985, was given one day to move from Lithuania where he had been managing Nordea banking operations to the Tallinn offices.
He expressed a similar outlook as Neckmar with respect to future business plans.
"The current operations have been successful, and there will be no change in our strategy. The situation is good, the economy is booming, the bank is growing and the staff is excellent," Rosenstrom said.
The rapid replacement of Seilenthal, recognized as having contributed to the bank's success in the mortgage market, was played down by bank leadership.
"For myself there is no drama," said Neckmar. "Here in Sweden we can hear about such cases every day," he added.