Anders Bouvin, the Chief Executive Officer of Handelsbanken UK, has received an Honorary Doctorate from the IFS (Institute of Financial Services) University College, for his contribution to the financial services profession and commitment to the benefit of a wider society.
Mr Bouvin’s was born in Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe) where his father was Sweden’s Honorary General Consul. After considering following in his father’s footsteps to become a diplomat, he realised he was more interested in business and macroeconomics - which led to him studying economics at the University of Lund, Sweden, as well as spending two years in France, at the Sorbonne in Reims and at the University of Montpellier.
Mr Bouvin started his career at Handelsbanken in 1985 and has significant international experience. After completing five years as an Area Manager in the Swedish branch network, he spent three years as General Manager in the United States before taking over as head of the bank’s Danish operations. He established a second regional bank in the UK in 2007 before becoming the CEO in 2010.
Mr Bouvin’s subsequent rise within Handelsbanken, across the organisation, has made him develop a holistic understanding of the role and function of banking which is at the core of both Handelsbanken’s philosophy and ifs University College’s higher education and professional qualifications.
Since Mr Bouvin took over as CEO of Handelsbanken UK, their business has expanded from 97 to over 200 branches. Handelsbanken is admired in the UK for doing business in a different way to the high street banks - with customers still banking at branch level. Other differences are that they do not operate sales targets or pay bonuses, credit decisions are taken by local experienced bankers rather than central computers, and marketing activities are governed by the branches based on their individual business needs.
Mr Bouvin is widely recognised for embodying Handelsbanken’s philosophy of long-termism, trust in colleagues and a strong customer focus, which has been fêted by commentators as a model for sustainable banking. He has been described as ‘the bank boss who likes to do things differently’ and ‘a poster boy for the acceptable face of banking’.