FINLAND - First-half losses at Finland’s Evli Bank have been followed by asset management chief Maunu Lehtimäki taking over as group chief executive from Henrik Andersin.

Andersin, CEO since 1993, will become chairman. Lehtimäki, 39, will be replaced by private banking head Lea Keinänen.

“I find this a perfect time to let our organisation develop to a new level in the hands of a new leader,” Andersin, who is one of the bank’s main shareholders, said.
The bank swung to a first-half loss of €0.1m from a profit of €3.9m before. Revenue slipped to €31.5m from €33.3m.

The negative results were blamed on the weak market situation during the second quarter of the year.
The Asset Management business unit could increase its revenues by 38% to €12.6m by an increase in fund subscriptions and the sale of new products.

“The revenue of the markets unit remained at the level of the previous year and the revenue of the corporate finance unit fell by 67% to €1.2m due to seasonal revenue fluctuations,” the report states.
One of the new funds offered by Evli is EPI (Evli Property Investments) Russia I Ky, Finland’s first real estate equity fund that invests in the Russian real estate markets.

The fund aims to acquire commercial properties in the St. Petersburg and Moscow regions. Investors in the fund include Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company and the Local Government Pensions Institution.

Both gave their investment commitments in June. Further equity is to be gained from Finnish and international investors in the autumn.
If not resolved before November Lehtimäki will have to deal with the bank’s troublesome pension fund run by the Evli-owned Suprema fondi in Latvia. With a mere €224,000 assets under management, Suprema could not make use of its partnership with Nordea under which its plans were available at all the bank’s branches in Latvia, as reported by IPE in July.

Nobody at Evli was available to comment on a “strategic decision” expected soon on the pension funds.