Glitnir’s London branch specialises in corporate and investment banking for customers in the UK and Southern Europe. Its main business is in the food and retail sectors for which the bank has built up a team of over 40 experts with banking and niche industry backgrounds.
The Nordic bank has had operations in the UK since 2001 and moved to its current location next to the Bank of England in 2004. Its managing director, Steinunn Thordardottir, became the first women to manage an Icelandic financial institution abroad when she took over the role in late 2005 at the age of 33.
Glitnir, which considers Norway and Iceland its two home markets, focuses on food, sustainable energy and offshore service vessels as three global niche sectors. Thordardottir says that this specialisation has occurred as a result of the inherent knowledge which Icelanders and Norwegians have in these fields.
As Thordardottir explains, “Knowledge of the catering industry stems from Glitnir’s background in fish and fish-related products. Co-operation with Norwegians has increased this expertise in the same way that the Norwegians’ knowledge of the shipping industry has added to the bank’s shipping expertise. The emphasis on environmentally friendly energy is second nature to an Icelandic company since we have both the resources and the necessary knowledge.”
During the past three years, Glitnir has opened a number of new offices in new markets around the world. The Nordic bank now has offices in the US, Canada, China and Luxembourg as well as all the Scandinavian countries. The bank’s growth has not only been fast territorially – in 2006 Glitnir posted record profits of 435 million Euros, a doubling on 2005 and with an equivalent of almost 40% return on equity.
For more information on Glitnir bank in the UK and South Europe visit www.glitnir.co.uk