(Bloomberg) -- Nordea Bank Abp is hiring ex-Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester as chairman of the Nordic region’s biggest bank. 

Hester, 61, is set to join the board of the Helsinki-based bank at the next annual meeting, planned for March 24, and become chairman on Oct. 1, it said in a statement on Thursday. Torbjorn Magnusson, chief executive officer of Sampo Oyj, will remain chairman until then.

Sampo, which is Nordea’s biggest shareholder, has been trimming its stake and said it would eventually exit the holding completely to focus on property and casualty insurance. Nordea has been helping Sampo with the sale, buying back 345 million euros ($400 million) of its own shares from the insurer in October. Sampo now owns 6.2% of the bank.

“Taking into account Stephen Hester’s extensive experience within banking and the insurance industry internationally as well as in the Nordics, we are very excited about the potential that he has to offer Nordea,” said Ricard Wennerklint, who headed the nomination board. Chief Executive Officer Frank Vang-Jensen was also consulted on the appointment, he said.

Hester’s extensive financial industry experience includes leading RBS during the financial crisis before he moved to RSA Insurance Group Ltd in 2014 until last year. He’s also worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse Group AG and is currently chairman of EasyJet Plc. 

Hester will help oversee the Nordic bank as it strives to further improve its performance after presenting a new set of financial targets due to be announced with the full-year earnings on Feb. 3. 

The board is expected to propose Hester as vice chairman from March 24 and for Magnusson to take that role on Oct. 1. Current Vice Chairman Kari Jordan isn’t available for re-election, Nordea said.

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