Chris Vogelzang steps down as Danske Bank CEO amid ABN AMRO probe
“I do not want speculations about my person to get in the way of the continued development of Danske Bank. Therefore, I feel that the only right thing is for me to leave. I am very sad to leave Danske Bank, which is a great company with extremely competent people, and it has been a great honor for me to lead it”, said Chris Vogelzang.
The Board of Directors of Danske Bank A/S has appointed Carsten Egeriis as Chief Executive Officer to replace Chris Vogelzang, who was named a suspect in an ABN AMRO money-laundering investigation in the Netherlands.
Chris Vogelzang commented: “I am very surprised by the decision by the Dutch authorities. I left ABN AMRO more than four years ago and am comfortable with the fact that I managed my management responsibilities with integrity and dedication. My status as a suspect does not imply that I will be charged.
“However, given the special situation Danske Bank is in and the intense scrutiny the bank is under, particularly in relation to anti-money laundering as a consequence of the still unresolved Estonia matter, I do not want speculations about my person to get in the way of the continued development of Danske Bank. Therefore, I feel that the only right thing is for me to leave. I am very sad to leave Danske Bank, which is a great company with extremely competent people, and it has been a great honor for me to lead it.”
Karsten Dybvad, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented: “We are very sorry to see Chris Vogelzang leave Danske Bank. He has been instrumental in the initiation of the ongoing transformation of Danske Bank and the progress and results it has already created. We fully understand and respect his decision and thank him for his huge efforts. I am pleased that we have a strong and competent successor in Carsten Egeriis, who has been part of the Executive Leadership Team as Chief Risk Officer for almost four years. He has had a pivotal role in our remediation efforts and in the strengthening of the risk area over the last years and not least in the bank’s handling of the corona crisis. He has more than 20 years’ experience from the financial sector, and the Board is confident that he is the right person to lead the transformation that is already progressing well.”
Carsten Egeriis, Chief Executive Officer at Danske Bank, said: “We owe Chris a huge thank you for the tremendous effort he has made for Danske Bank. He has set a new direction for Danske Bank and done so in a way, which I personally have appreciated, because it really has been a team effort in the leadership team. Now, it will be my job, together with the rest of the leadership team and all our skilled colleagues, to continue this work, which I am looking forward to. With more than 3.5 million customers we have an amazing opportunity to make a difference every day and help people and businesses realise their ambitions and at the same time contribute to the societies we are part of. The better a bank we become, the better we can solve these tasks.”
In this context, Gerrit Zalm, member of the Board of Directors at Danske Bank, has also decided to resign from the board, where he sat over the past two years.