SWEDEN – Handelsbanken is expanding its investment banking division, recruiting Annika Espander as an analyst to its research department....
Espander will have responsibility for pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical technology on a global level at the company.

“ We aim to stay at the top of the field in the Nordic countries and in selected international markets. In order to retain and enhance this position, we need recruitments of a high calibre like this,” says Michael Matzen, head of equities at Handelsbanken Investment Banking.

Espander joins the bank from Enskilda Securities, an investment bank owned by Swedish Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) and Norwegian asset manager Orkla Finans. She has a background as a molecular biologist.
Handelsbanken believes that healthcare is one of the highest priority areas in enhancing its market position.

Björn Åkerlund has also been appointed as domestic public affairs manager in corporate finance at the investment bank. Previously he was head of corporate finance at fund manager Öhman Fondkomission.

In a separate move, the Swedish government has shown the green light to life insurance company Handelsbanken Liv to demutualise on January 1, 2002. The firm will be the first life insurance company in the country to demutualise following the new law, which harmonises the Swedish market with other European jurisdictions.