Danske Bank Fires Finance Executive as Division Shifts Focus

Danske Bank A/S said it fired the head of corporate finance in Denmark after deciding he wouldn’t fit in with the lender’s plans to provide clients with a more complete palette of offerings designed to raise returns.

Danske is shifting its focus away from “selling products one by one” to providing broader strategic advice after finding customers weren’t satisfied with the old approach, Mikael Ericson, head of capital markets, said in an e-mailed reply to questions today. The decision to fire Anders Boending and four other executives follows that shift, he said.

“We want to ensure that our clients have the capital structure that best enables them to reach their strategic goals, regardless of whether that is best done with equity, bonds or loans,” Ericson said.

Danske has told investors it will boost return on equity more than threefold by the end of 2015 in part by generating more income in its corporate and institutional division. Danske trailed Sweden’s Nordea Bank AB in underwriting Danish non-financial company debt last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Danish business newspaper Borsen reported Boending’s firing earlier today.

“It is our clear ambition to be a leading corporate finance entity in Denmark, and we believe our strategy is a roadmap for becoming so again,” Ericson said. Corporate finance will report directly to him, he said.

“If we make staff additions, it won’t be like-for-like replacements,” Ericson said. “Corporate finance is important for us for strategic reasons as it is a channel for high-level strategic dialogue with the clients.”

Danske last year had a return on equity of 3.7 percent, after tax. The Copenhagen-based bank has said it will raise that to more than 12 percent in 2015.

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