Vicky Davies to lead Danske Bank when Kingston steps down

Danske Bank's incoming chief executive Vicky Davies pictured with incumbent Kevin Kingston. Picture: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Danske Bank's incoming chief executive Vicky Davies pictured with incumbent Kevin Kingston. Picture: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

CAMBRIDGE-educated Vicky Davies is to become the first female chief executive of Danske Bank in its 200-year history.

She will replace Kevin Kingston, who has decided to retire at the end of this year after six years in the role.

And she will be only the second woman to head up a major financial institution in the north, joining Elvena Graham, who spent a period leading up Ulster Bank in Belfast.

Welsh-born Ms Davies (45), mother of four young sons, has been part of Danske Bank’s senior management team since 2012.

Initially she was the bank's head of business development, then becoming managing director of strategy & corporate development and latterly as deputy chief executive.

She joined the board of Danske Bank UK in 2016, becoming its first-ever female executive director.

Ms Davies started her career as a management consultant at Accenture in London.

After gaining an MBA at the renowned INSEAD business school in France, she joined Ulster Bank in 2005, and for a time worked alongside Mr Kingston before both eventually moved across to Danske.

She said: “Under Kevin’s leadership Danske Bank UK has undergone a significant transformation, and as part of his leadership team I'm extremely proud of all we have accomplished. I thank him for the support he has given me over the past six years.

“I am both humbled and delighted be CEO-designate, and as we look ahead with optimism, I firmly believe Northern Ireland will grow again and that Danske Bank will have a central role to play in the recovery.

“As the biggest bank in Northern Ireland we are well positioned to continue to support our customers, to be there when they need us and to help them realise their ambitions.”

Mr Kingston said it was with mixed emotions that he is standing down.

He added: “Now that we are hopefully through the worst of the pandemic and looking toward a brighter future, the timing feels right.

“It has been a privilege and an honour to lead the bank over the past six years and to work with so many inspirational colleagues.

“I know Vicky and our strong local management team will continue to prioritise customer experience, while retaining a strategic focus on growing the business for the future.”

The chair of the bank’s board Gerald Gregory said: “Kevin has made a huge contribution to the strategic and cultural development of the bank.

“His personal commitment and strong leadership has further strengthened Danske Bank’s leading position in Northern Ireland. His decision to announce his planned retirement now allows for a period of transition. The board looks forward to working with Vicky in her new capacity over the years ahead.”

Ms Davies' appointment remains subject to regulatory approval.