Lars Thalén appointed Head of Corporate Identity and Communications

Lars Thalén appointed Head of Corporate Identity and Communications MeritaNordbanken has established a new position of Senior Vice President within the Group's central administration for the development of the Group's corporate identity, brand and communications. Mr. Lars Thalén, who has been appointed to this post, will assume his responsibilities in the near future. His mandate is to lead the deepening of MeritaNordbanken's strategic positioning under Hans Dalborg, Group Chief Executive Officer. Before joining MNB, he has most recently been Managing Director of the management consultancy Burson-Marsteller in Sweden. "I have been working with Lars for eight years, and I am happy that he is now joining our organization", says Hans Dalborg, Group CEO. "MeritaNordbanken's aim is to be the leading institution in our region, which means leadership also in the building of our corporate and brand identity, our culture and our relations with all stakeholder groups. We are facing a major task not only in completing our consolidation process and creating a dynamic corporate culture but also in the implementation of our regional expansion strategy. With Lars supporting the Group Executive Board in this regard, it will be a high- priority task for us all." "MeritaNordbanken's vision is to become the leading bank on the growing markets of the Nordic countries and the Baltic Sea region. With this in mind the Group is developing its values and building a culture designed to help customers in this region to realize their projects. Our future success will depend largely on our skill in handling all elements that drive our positioning on the market. I have long been focusing on this particular aspect of management, and it is therefore a thrilling prospect to lead this function within the bank", Lars Thalén says. Lars Thalén will initially direct the further development of strategies and structures for the bank's identity, brand management and communications. During this period he will also be head of Corporate Communications in Finland and Sweden. Alongside his duties at MeritaNordbanken, he will continue to serve as a part-time consultant with Burson-Marsteller. Further information: Peter Forsblad, tel. +46 8 614 7905 MeritaNordbanken, one of the leading bank groups in the Nordic region, provides a broad spectrum of financial products and services to more than 6.5 million private individuals and 400,000 companies and institutions. Its service network comprises 800 branch offices in Finland and Sweden, some 1,000 Swedish post offices and a wide range of effective telephone and Internet banking facilities. Outside the Nordic region, the Group has a presence in 19 countries. More than a million customers use MeritaNordbanken's network banking services. Customer savings under management total almost EUR 45 billion. The Group's two holding companies, Merita and Nordbanken Holding, are listed in Helsinki and Stockholm, respectively. ------------------------------------------------------------ Please visit http://www.bit.se for further information The following files are available for download: http://www.bit.se/bitonline/1999/01/12/19990112BIT00060/bit0001.doc http://www.bit.se/bitonline/1999/01/12/19990112BIT00060/bit0002.pdf

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