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CEO of Danske Bank will share ups and downs with CBS students

CEO Thomas F. Borgen og CBS President Per Holten-Andersen. Foto: Ulrik Jantzen.

Thomas F. Borgen, CEO of Danske Bank, is going to spend an academic year at CBS. Not to drink coffee with the President of CBS, but instead to learn from academics and students. In the wake of the money laundering case at Danske Bank, he will share what he can if students ask him.

Mette Koors

Editor-in-Chief

CBS invites CEOs from the largest Danish companies to spend an academic year at CBS. The goal is to share and strengthen relations, collaboration, and knowledge between the Danish business community and CBS. The first student will be the CEO of Danske Bank, Thomas F. Borgen.

“Approach me, challenge me and share things with me. I think Per Holten-Andersen is doing a great job at CBS, but I did not become Executive in Residence just to spend two semesters drinking coffee in the President’s office. Help me learn more about your research and about CBS,” says Thomas F. Borgen.

When asked whether he will share information about lessons learnt if a student asks him in the wake of the money laundering case at Danske Bank, he says:

“I will share what I can, but it might not be a lot. There are some strict laws and regulations about what we are allowed to comment on during an ongoing investigation and I would of course have to respect that.”

Learning from mistakes

According to Thomas Borgen it is always nice to share a positive story but mistakes and failures are a necessary component of becoming wiser. “We can learn more from our not-so-good experiences than we can learn from our good ones. Pretending that we never made a mistake would just be silly.

Pretending that we never made a mistake would just be silly

Thomas F. Borgen, CEO Danske Bank

Though Danske Bank, again, finds itself in the middle of a money laundering case, it won’t have any impact on CBS’s agreement with Thomas Borgen.

“The case does not influence our collaboration with Thomas F. Borgen. We are proud that he has accepted our offer to become the first Executive in Residence,” says Per Holten-Andersen.

When asked if he would encourage students to discuss the matter, Per Holten-Andersen answers:

“Our students are independent individuals who have the capacity to think for themselves. They know what is meaningful and relevant to discuss,” and adds: “I expect that the students may draw inspiration from a CEO that they normally do not have access to.”

“A bit of fresh air”

What is personally important for Thomas Borgen to achieve during his time at CBS is that being an Executive in Residence will allow him to build on the relationship between Danske Bank and CBS. Danske Bank is one of the Danish companies that hires most graduates from CBS.

“It is in our mutual interest that we have a very close relationship. Personally, I hope to get new and up-to-date knowledge, as well as gain inspiration from knowledgeable academics and students. I am sure that it will allow me to bring a bit of fresh air with me back to my colleagues in Danske Bank.”

Thomas Borgen expects that CBS can give insights into new research within the fields of finance and management. And that CBS will help him gain a broader perspective on some of the challenges facing businesses today, such as, disruption, digitalization and so on.

“I see this as a great opportunity to learn more about CBS and the role CBS and other educational institutions play in society,” says Thomas Borgen.

When asked about what students and researchers should be looking forward to when working together with him, he says:

“The students and researchers will be able to get insights and perspectives from an experienced practitioner from one of the biggest financial institutions in the Nordics. I hope that bringing this perspective to the table will assist them in their studies and the research they do.”

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