The reasons why Danske Bank engages so extensively with CBS


Danske Bank’s engagement with CBS is one of the broadest and most extensive of its kind. It ranges from support of research over contributions to education and case competitions to participation in CBS’ career activities. CEO Thomas Borgen is the first Executive in Residence at CBS in this academic year, 2017-18. But what does Danske Bank get out of this?


Danske Bank CEO Thomas F Borgen signed an agreement with CBS President Per Holten-Andersen to be CBS' first Executive in Residence for the study year 2017-18.

Danske Bank CEO Thomas F Borgen signed an agreement with CBS President Per Holten-Andersen to be CBS' first Executive in Residence for the study year 2017-18 last summer. (Photo: Ulrik Jantzen)

- One of the primary reasons for Danske Bank’s engagement in CBS for Danske Bank regards the recruitment of new, young talents. We have a strong reputation as employer, but also an ambition to become an even more attractive workplace for students from the relevant universities, says Head of Joining & Leaving in Danske Bank, Ole Bech-Petersen, who has the responsibility for Danske Bank’s involvement with universities.

Danske Bank is engaged at all levels at CBS. The bank has financed research projects, finances a Business PhD, and regularly contributes to the teaching in different study programs with both cases and guest lecturers. At the executive level, CEO Thomas Borgen is CBS’ first Executive in Residence, and in 2017 the bank participated in both CBS Roundtable and at Impact Summit.

As one of the three largest recruiters of CBS candidates, Danske Bank makes use of CBS’ full range of career offers and participates in almost all events. In relation to student activities, the company supports some of the many student organisations at CBS, especially those with a financial orientation, and has been a CBS Case Competition Preferred Partner. The purpose of the engagement is value creation to Danske Bank.

Video: Danske Bank CEO Thomas Borgen becomes CBS’ first Executive in Residence

‘Classroom Presence’ and ‘Executive Presence’ are most important

Danske Bank’s strategic engagement at the universities rests on three pillars: To be present in the form of ‘Classroom Presence’, ‘Executive Presence’, and ‘Career Presence’. Of the three focus areas, the universities’ career promoting activities range the lowest, even though they also are important and relevant.

- Our most important, most value creating efforts are our ‘Classroom Presence’ and ‘Executive Presence’. To meet CBS’ students face-to-face through guest lectures, by providing cases for teaching and case competitions, and by being the focus of their projects and thesis gives us very direct access to new ideas and inspiration, tells Ole Bech-Petersen and continues:

- Our ‘Executive Presence’ – not just Thomas Borgen’s academic year as Executive in Residence, but also having other Danske Bank executives participating in conferences, in teaching, and being present at CBS career events – all contribute to our ambition to strengthen our reputation. It is also about inspiring and giving good ideas back, which we hope CBS finds valuable.

Video: Ole Bech-Petersen on what Danske Bank gets out of its engagement in CBS

Inspiration, new ideas, and greater adaptability

- The financial sector is going through rapid change. Digitisation, new regulations, and competition from non-financial businesses are among the factors creating a completely new set of conditions that we must adapt to, emphasizes Ole Bech-Petersen and continues:

- To us, it is crucial to stay on top of the development to continuously adapt, seek inspiration, and get new ideas. We get a valuable contribution to that through our ongoing contact to students, participation in education, contact to researchers, and insights into the most recent research – which our engagement with CBS is a fine example of.

According to the head of recruitment, profiles under 30 years of age now constitute more than 50 per cent of new hires in Danske Bank. And whereas 10 years ago, the bank almost exclusively focused on students with financial degrees, the rapid changing business conditions now makes it a much broader range of competencies and educational profiles that the bank has need of.

- We hire many CBS graduates in Danske Bank – in internships, student jobs, and recent graduates. They are characterised by having high drive, being positively geared and innovative, and they have a wide span of professional competencies – all of which we are interested in. For this reason our engagement has broadened to cover all degree programs at CBS, says Ole Bech-Petersen.

Read more about becoming CBS Partner here (pdf download)

The page was last edited by: CBS Business // 01/17/2018