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The feeling of lost strategy - how SEB became the smallest of the big banks in Sweden. -

Thursday, 29 March 2012
The problems with business strategies is that when a company spend a lot of money and pay some selected members of its organisation, what could be described as exorbitant pay, those companies are expected to, at least, deliver.

As time are tight today, so the pay to so - call best brains in management and businesses continue to rise making some critics to believe that there is a club where some set of persons are rewarded for being a member even if they don't deliver.

Lets look the Swedish bank, SEB for example which has been described as being the smallest of the Swedish big banks in terms of market capitalization.
In an interview with the Swedish business daily, Dagens Industri, the banks CEO, Annika Falkengren said that she would want to change that perception and the feel that her bank continue to remain small in terns of core growth and expansion.
"Let's hope it changes," she said to the paper.

SEB by Thursday was the last among the so called major Swedish banks to offer an annual general meeting. In an interview with Dagens Industri SEB's CEO Annika Falkengren talked about how it feels to be the smallest big bank, based on market capitalization.

She says that "it's fun, there are so many shareholders. 1100, we are, that's wonderful."
So then talking about growth she said that "We sold the German retail business which was a large part of the balance sheet in Germany. We also sold our Ukrainian branch offices. So some parts we have done away with. Excluding that our growth in lending was by 10 percent."

For the future "We should be really focused where we are. We will keep on with what we are good at in the Nordic countries, Germany and the Baltics. In Sweden and the Baltics we should push the entire retail business from the smallest to the largest private company. In the Nordic countries and Germany it is solely to companies and institutions. It is clear and that is our focus. "

Ask how it feels to be Sweden's smallest bank, by market capitalization, especially as Swedbank passed them in terms of market capitalization in February 2011. Before the financial crisis of 2008, SEB was the second biggest bank together with Handelsbanken behind Nordea.

She had no idea and said that “we'll see in the long term how it looks. Our evaluation looks that way but in the current situation, but things can be changed and it has changed before. We will continue to focus and growth and hope that there would be a change.”

Looking at the bank’s credit rating, together with Swedbank, SEB shares the worst place among the major Swedish banks looking at Moody's, Fitch and S & P reviews.
"We did not get an upgrade by S & P in December that we were happy. Now, Moody's indicated the downgrade of the 114 banks in Europe, where we together with the other Swedish banks have been threatened. Let's hope that we can master to resist it, too."

Relating to wage determination for the bank’s head she point that "It's a debate I do not want to get myself in. It'll have to ask Marcus Wallenberg (Chairman of SEB) on that. But I think that wages for managers of all large companies will always be high."
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By Team

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