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Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs

Appointment of Hawkpoint to lead negotiations with banking creditors

Ministry of Finance, Press Release No. 14/2009

The Government of Iceland has taken steps to strengthen and streamline the process of negotiations between the three new banks created in the wake of the collapse of the main Icelandic commercial banks (Glitnir, Kaupthing and Landsbanki) and the creditors of the old banks.

On behalf of the Government, as owner, and the new banks, the Ministry of Finance will lead and coordinate these negotiations. The Ministry has hired Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson, an experienced former banker, to lead this process.

The Ministry has also appointed Hawkpoint, the London-based corporate advisory firm, to lead the negotiations on the Government’s behalf with representatives of the old banks’ creditors.

The objectives of the Government of Iceland in these negotiations, inter alia, are:

  • To ensure appropriate treatment of creditors in all three old banks including transparency and timely flow of information in the negotiation process.
  • The application of international best practices.
  • To secure a stable post-settlement Icelandic banking system that will be able to fulfil its obligations under the compensation instruments to be issued by the new banks.
  • To engage in regular consultation and cooperation with the old banks’ Resolution Committees and their advisors to take account of their views.
  • To seek an agreement that secures approval of the creditors and will facilitate regaining access to the international capital markets for the Government of Iceland and the new banks.

The negotiations and structuring of the compensation between the new banks and old banks will utilise the detailed valuation exercises currently being conducted by Deloitte and Oliver Wyman.


Paul Baines      Tel: +44 207 665 4500
Chief Executive, Hawkpoint

Notes to editors


At the beginning of October 2008, the three main Icelandic commercial banks (Glitnir, Kaupthing and Landsbanki) collapsed.  As an emergency measure, the Government of Iceland enacted a law, authorising the Ministry of Finance to provide capital for establishing new banks, or to acquire ailing banks.  The legislation also gave far reaching powers to the Icelandic Financial Services Authority (FME) to intervene in the affairs of ailing banks.  Using these laws, the three commercial banks were split into “new banks” and “old banks”. The “new banks” were handed over to three newly established banking corporations, wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance.  The FME replaced the boards of the “old banks” with three Resolution Committees, with the mandate to protect the value of assets left in the “old banks” for the benefit of creditors.  The Government has announced its intention to compensate the creditors of the old banks through the issue of financial instruments for the transfer of net assets from the old banks to the new banks which occurred as a result of the split.

Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson

Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson holds a master’s degree from the Copenhagen Business School and has long experience in domestic and international banking. He has held senior roles with Nordic Investment Bank, Agricultural Bank in Reykjavik and Luxembourg and Municipalici Credi Iceland.


Hawkpoint is a leading independent corporate finance advisory firm which advises corporates, financial institutions, private equity houses, governments and quasi-governmental bodies and is active throughout Europe.  The firm employs 150 people and has offices in London and Paris.  Hawkpoint’s advisory services cover mergers & acquisitions, capital markets, debt, restructuring and strategic advice. Hawkpoint has a dedicated financial services team which has advised major financial services groups across Europe and North America.


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