Different strokes for different banks

It is interesting to see what was heralded by many as the “new times of the woman” play out.

When the banks were privatized, Birna Einarsdottir was appointed head of Glitnir and Elin Sigfusdottir head of Landsbankinn. Many celebrated the news of two women being handed the reins, as supposedly they have different ways of doing business than men.

Finnur Sveinbjornsson was appointed head of Kaupthing, the only male in the pack.

People then realized that Birna and Elin were top-managers in their respective banks for a long time before the fall, so they were hardly representing new ways of doing things. It came to light that Birna was supposed to be handed 200 million ISK in shares in the bank for basically nothing and Elin’s former boss, Sigurjon Arnason not only rented an office in Landsbankinn’s building but had his website done by the bank’s web-department. His new job revolves around getting debt cancelled for the companies that borrowed from his management…and Elin’s.

Meanwhile, Finnur has been busy. This past week he has let seven of Kaupthing’s former management team go, one of them the husband of Minister of Education, Thorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdottir. All three banks have been under much criticism for having the same people running the banks after the crash as before. Finnur cited the closeness of the managers to their former bosses as the reason they had to go.

The different approach by the three banks is notable. Only one can be said to be facing his past and cleaning house. The others seem not so bothered.

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1 Response to “Different strokes for different banks”



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