Carsten Egeriis, the chief executive officer of Danske Bank, has taken over from Berit Behring as the chair of the bank’s subsidiary Danica Pension, in a move the bank has linked with an intended closer cooperation between the two firms.

Danske Bank said in its announcement earlier this week that Egeriis’s chairmanship of Danica Pension, which began on Tuesday, is a continuation of its new “Forward ’28” strategy announced in June, which is focused on strengthening its position as a leading bank in the Nordic region and making large investments in customer offerings.

Behring has opted to leave the Danske Bank group after 17 years, according to the bank.

For the past two and a half years she has been head of large corporates and institutions at the bank, and a member of its executive leadership team, as well as chair of Danica Pension.

Egeriis, who took over as CEO of Danske Bank in 2021, said: “In line with our strategy, we aim to be the best financial partner for our customers and to provide holistic advisory services covering the full scope of our customers’ financial activities.

“Danica Pension is a strategically important part of the Danske Bank Group, and I look forward to taking up the role of chairman so that we can continue the strategic development of Danica Pension together and create even more offerings for our customers to benefit from,” he said.

Meanwhile Søren Lockwood, CEO of Danica Pension, described it as a natural development that the position of chair of Danica Pension’s board would in future be held by the CEO of Danske Bank.

“I believe this will strengthen our strategic cohesion,” he said.

“With our new strategy, we will collaborate more closely to service the needs of our customers across the group, and with this model we ensure that customer needs are always a core element in the dialogue between us,” Lockwood said.

The bank said that as part of the Forward ’28 strategy, it intended to “further develop its holistic financial advisory services, for example in areas such as pensions and healthcare, where Danica Pension has extensive experience”.

A key pillar of Danske Bank’s new strategy is the Danish market, and it said in June that it wanted to “reaffirm our position as the bank of choice across customer segments” in that regional market.

In the Norwegian market – one of the four Nordic countries the bank operates in alongside Finland and Sweden – the bank announced in June it was exiting the market for personal customers, and put the Norwegian retail business up for sale.

Back in December 2021, the bank sold its Norwegian pensions operation to Storebrand, two and a half years after finding a buyer for its Swedish business.

Danske Bank has faced huge problems in the past few years connected with a money-laundering scandal linked to its Estonian branch, and subsequent lawsuits along with the need for spending on anti-money laundering measures.

Having paid no dividend to its shareholders for 2022 due to a $2bn (€1.8bn) settlement in the US and Denmark over the scandal, Danske Bank said in June that it would restart dividend payments along with its interim report in July.

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