Nordea Bank Is Reorganizing Its $390 Billion Wealth Business

Nordea Bank Abp is reorganizing its wealth and asset management unit as part of a years-long program to make the largest Nordic bank more streamlined across the countries in which it operates.

The Helsinki-based bank is merging private banking units and investment and securities advisory operations into single wealth management units in each of its four main Nordic markets, according to posts on LinkedIn that were confirmed by the bank.

The “simplified” organization will bring Nordea “closer to customers,” spokesman Tuomas Forsell said in an emailed reply to questions on Tuesday. The changes won’t result in job cuts, but the positions of Nordic head of private banking and Nordic head of investment and security advisory services will be eliminated, he said.

Chief Executive Officer Frank Vang-Jensen is under pressure from shareholders to make the bank more efficient and drive up profits. Earlier on Tuesday, New York-based hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. said Nordea continues to underperform and called on its biggest shareholder, Sampo Oyj, to dump its entire stake.

Read More: Elliott Urges Sampo to Exit Nordea, Free $10 Billion Value

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Nordea is also making some other adjustments to its business, with Philip Asp taking on the expanded role of head of a newly combined investment banking and equities unit.

The “more holistic view” of the “full equities value chain” will help Nordea “direct resources more efficiently and also act quicker and more cohesively,” Asp said by email.

The bank has also faced hurdles in some of its efforts to cut costs. One of its latest savings plans -- to move hundreds of information-technology jobs to India -- sparked an outcry among unions last month.

In the third quarter, Nordea reported a 16% drop in expenses for its asset and wealth management unit from a year earlier, as it made “structural changes” and cut travel. That helped improve its return on capital at risk by a third.

Nordea is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 4.

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