Iceland’s Sigfusson Appoints New Financial Investments Board

Iceland’s Finance Minister Steingrimur J. Sigfusson has appointed a new board of the Icelandic State Financial Investments following the resignation of the agency’s board last month.

Gudrun Ragnarsdottir has been named chairman of the board, according to a statement on the Finance Ministry’s website. Jon Sigurdsson was appointed deputy chairman.

The former board’s decision to hire Pall Magnusson, who was political adviser to the country’s industry minister from 1999 to 2006, as the agency’s chief executive officer, prompted lawmakers to criticize the board.

“The reaction of lawmakers indicate that it will be difficult for the institution to carry out, in the required manner, the important and difficult tasks it’s meant to oversee,” the board said last month. “It’s fundamental” that the board “enjoys full support and can operate independently as required by law.”

Following the resignation of the board on Oct. 24, Magnusson refused to take on the CEO role the following day.

Icelandic State Financial Investments oversees the state’s shares in Iceland’s three largest banks, Landsbankinn hf, Islandsbanki hf and Arion Banki hf. The north Atlantic island’s government holds an 81 percent stake in Landsbanki, 13 percent in Arion and 5 percent in Islandsbanki.

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