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ABG Sundal Collier joins elite

The young up-start is giving bigger Nordic investment banks a run for their money. The firm’s CEO reckons its size and a commitment to local research have been an advantage in adapting to the changing climate of the region’s capital markets.

Rumours swirl around the birth of ABG Sundal Collier’s convertible bond business. "The story goes that there was an English guy, a convertible bond expert, in London who had a Norwegian girlfriend who was living in Oslo. When he decided to make the move to Norway, he approached ABG – probably because the bank was at the top of the phone book – with the idea of setting up a convertible bond business," says a Norwegian bank analyst. "The rest is history."

ABG’s convertibles business began in 2003. Since then, it has grown to become a clear market leader. In Norway, the firm has a 31% share of the market, outperforming such rivals as Deutsche Bank, Citi and Barclays.

Knut Brundtland, CEO at ABG Sundal Collier
Knut Brundtland, CEO at ABG Sundal Collier

"Our convertible bond distribution is world class," says Knut Brundtland, the company’s CEO. "We are setting the example for the region." And its influence goes further – ABG ranks second for the convertible bond market in Canada this year. The firm was born out of a 2001 merger between ABG Securities, based in Stockholm, and Sundal Collier & Co in Oslo, when privatization and consolidation in the sector after the regional banking crisis in the 1990s was rife.