Hreiðar Már going to Luxembourg

The internal politics within Kaupthing Luxembourg (Banque Havilland) are strange. There have been rumours about the connections between the old bank and the new one for a long time now. When Blackfish Capital bought the bank Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, the old boss of Kaupþing (the conglomerate) moved to Luxembourg to open the Luxembourg office of the consultancy firm Consolium.

This company was founded in Iceland on October 30th 2008 by himself and other Kaupthing staff. Ingólfur Helgason the former manager of Kaupthing bank in Iceland. Consolium will give advice to companies and financial institutions. The company has the staff of five at the moment but will grow modestly in the near future according to Hreiðar Már. He says that there are more foreign clients than there are Icelandic clients. In the press release he finishes off by saying that his move to Luxembourg has nothing to do with the Banque Havilland.

The statement is strange, and especially this last part, for the simple reason that there is no need to include that there are not connections in the statement. It sounds to much like Bill Clinton saying; „I did not have any sexual relations with that woman“. It sounds honest but nobody really believed it at that time. To deny something beforehand is a clear indication that there is guilt behind it. On a speculative note only that is.

But on the other hand the rumours are rife. From within the financial sector here in Iceland and from Europe as well. Put aside the coincedence of the timing of Hreiðar Már moving to Luxembourg at the same time as Blackfish Capital gets the bank, and the very strange denial that he is not in any relations with that Banque Havilland, the rumours go so far as saying that his partner in this Luxembourg venture is Sigurður Einarsson his co manger at Kaupthing. Where there is smoke, there is fire is often said, and in this case the rumours are very strong and comming from various sources.

There are even unconfirmed rumours that the people who resigned voluntarily form Kaupthing board in March this year have all started to work for Consolium. The company has a website (consolium.is), but nothing is there, one gets directed to the Internet service provider company.

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