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Maersk family ousts Danske Bank chairman after scandal

By Teis Jensen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Danske Bank’s (CO:DANSKE) largest shareholder, the Maersk family, has ousted the lender’s chairman after a money laundering scandal that has also forced out its chief executive.

A.P. Moller Holding, which controls about 21 percent of the share capital in the bank, has nominated Karsten Dybvad, who currently heads the Confederation of Danish Industry, to replace Ole Andersen as chairman of Denmark’s largest bank.

The move is a rare example of Denmark’s Maersk family, which controls shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk (CO:MAERSKb) through A.P. Moller Holding, openly flexing its muscles to seek change at one of its investments.

“We make this move because we think that Danske’s board has not reacted swiftly enough to find a replacement for the current chairman,” said Robert Uggla, CEO of A.P. Moller Holding.

Andersen, who was appointed chairman seven years ago, has agreed to step down from the board at an extraordinary general meeting to be held within two weeks.

“I share the perception of the need for a new board, and as I have previously announced I also believe it is right for me to leave the chairmanship to new forces,” Andersen said in a statement.

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