Nordics banker Patrik Havander has joined Danske Bank from long-time employer SEB.

Havander joins the Danish bank as head of commercial solutions, having spent 22 years working for the Swedish bank in a variety of roles.

He joined SEB in 1991 as a credit analyst before moving up the ranks of the cash management department until 2006, when he was appointed head of global transaction services, concept and packaging. His most recent position was head of concept and packaging, merchant banking.

He will report to Trond Fredrik Mellingsæter, global head of transaction banking, who tells GTR that he is very excited to have Havander on board.

Havander joins Danske Bank with the aim of “cementing Danske Bank’s position as the number one bank in the Nordics”.

He continues: “Denmark is a trading nation. For trade finance, they are outstanding in the marketplace. The market income is so big, but the proportion of this which comes from transaction banking needs to be increased. Our focus is to be unrivalled in this part of the world. We’re not equally strong in every country, so this is what we wish to address.”

His role is to make Danske Bank’s products more commercially viable – making it more straightforward for salespeople to differentiate the bank from its competitors. He will be charged with reducing sales cycles, in order to increase early income generation at the bank.

He explains: “My goal is to raise the lowest level of the sales platform, building a centre of excellence for how we sell and talk about our offerings. When we come to clients we need to give them insights that they haven’t got elsewhere and challenge their status quo a little bit.

“Clients are living in financial uncertainty… they have increased costs, they have a lack of time and resources. This leads to new risks and lack of control. Our job is to lower these costs, increase the speed of processing and help clients control risks.”

Havander says he’s looking forward to working with the underlying technological infrastructure Danske Bank has in place, saying: “We don’t talk about IT in the management meetings: 95% of meetings in my old company were about IT… but the engine here is so good, we can focus on the real business.”