Handelsbanken Proposes Industrivaerden’s Chief as New Chairman

Svenska Handelsbanken AB, Sweden’s second-largest bank, nominated Industrivaerden AB Chief Executive Officer Anders Nyren as its new chairman, putting the head of one of its largest shareholders in the post.

Nyren, 58, will replace Hans Larsson, who declined to be re-elected after being chairman since 2008 and serving on the board since 1990, Stockholm-based Handelsbanken said in a statement today. The company’s shareholders will vote on the proposal, which also includes lowering the number of board members to 11 from 12, at the annual meeting on March 20.

Nyren is also the chairman of Sandvik AB and sits on the boards of Svenska Cellulosa AB, steelmaker SSAB, Swedish truckmaker Volvo AB and Ericsson AB, the world’s largest maker of mobile-phone networks. As a result of being nominated to become Handelsbanken’s chairman, Nyren said today he has informed the nomination committees of Ericsson and SSAB that he doesn’t plan to stand for re-election to their boards.

“Taking over as chairman from Hans Larsson, who has decided not to stand for re-election, is a significant commitment,” Nyren said in the statement. Larsson “has been a very skilled chairman” who “for more than 40 years has made successful contributions in various positions in the Swedish business community.”

Industrivaerden holds 10.3 percent of the voting rights of Handelsbanken, making it the second-largest shareholder after Oktogonen, Handelsbanken’s employee profit-sharing foundation.

Handelsbanken’s change of chairman follows management changes at its Swedish rivals. Swedbank AB, the largest lender in the Baltics, on Jan. 16 nominated Deputy Chairman Anders Sundstroem to replace Lars Idermark as chairman of the bank’s board. Nordea Bank AB, the Nordic region’s largest lender, said on the same date that it appointed Torsten Hagen Joergensen as its new chief financial officer to replace Fredrik Rystedt, who left the Swedish lender after more than four years in the post.

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