Following the suspension of Danske Bank's banking services in Lithuania, Ramunas Biciulaitis, formerly Head of the Bank's Lithuanian Branch, now, together with the Management Team in Lithuania, ensures the smooth operation of the entire technology and services center, which employs more than 4,000 people.

We have invited Ramunas, the Country Manager of Danske Bank Lithuania and a member of the Country Board to talk about his everyday activities at work and after working hours.

What are you looking most forward to in your new role?
Around 19% of all Danske Bank Group employees are working in Lithuania, therefore, our workforce here is critical for the success of the whole Bank. Together with the Danske Bank Lithuania Leadership Team, we are responsible for defining and implementing strategic priorities for the Lithuania site. We make every effort to ensure that managers representing various functions in Lithuania, demonstrate understanding and have a clear and consistent view of the Danske Bank Group's needs, and that the Group Leadership sees the advantages of the Lithuania site.

The newly formed Danske Bank Lithuania Country Board has a clear goal to steer the strategic direction for Danske Bank Lithuania, to streamline the governance and to further develop the Lithuania site to make it an even stronger asset to the Group. This is a very positive transformation for us, and I’m humbled to be a part of this forum.

As a member of the Board, I aim to maintain constant and smooth two-way communication with the Bank's senior management and the functional heads in Lithuania. The achievements, challenges and the needs of the Lithuania Site are no longer communicated through functional managers who report to their colleagues in Denmark, but rather through a single line – the country's Board. At the same time, because of the Board, now we can hear the expectations and goals set for Lithuania as a strategic site of Danske Bank, rather than just for individual business support functions performed in Lithuania.

What are the short-term and long-term focus areas for you?
To be precise, I have two roles: the Country Manager and the Head of the Baltic Portfolio Management. Therefore, the goals also differ.

In my primary role as a Country Manager, I have the overall responsibility for Danske Bank Lithuania site operations, keeping the focus on legal, regulatory and reporting compliance matters. In this capacity, I am also a member of the Country Board, where my key short-term focus areas are to support the establishment of an effective local leadership team and its governance structure.

In the long run, together with the Country Leadership Team, my main focus is on making sure our company's strategy is understood, supported and implemented by our colleagues in Lithuania.

As the Head of the Baltic Portfolio Management, I am responsible for the Baltic banking exit activities and residual portfolio amortisation. The Estonian corporate lending portfolio was sold in 2020, Latvian – in Q1, 2021, and the remaining Lithuanian corporate credit portfolio is to be amortised subsequently.

We know you are a passionate cyclist. Can you share more about this?
To balance out intense mental work, I need a good physical workout. I am an avid fan of cycling. In summer – outdoors, in winter – at home, but at least two or three times a week I ride my bicycle. 25-30 km in 40 minutes on a bicycle and I have my brain re-loaded for the next day.                                                                                                             

I have a dream to make a bicycle trip around the Baltic Sea with the Danske Bank Lithuania Cycling Team. So far, we have already made three trips: a trip around Lithuania (2016), a trip across the Baltic Countries (2017) and a trip across Finland and Sweden (2018). Each of these trips took us 10 days, and we made approximately 1300–1500 km on each of them.                                                                                    

Now, we want to make a trip across Sweden and Denmark, and the next one will take us across Poland and Germany. I very much look forward to the end of the pandemic, so that our team can complete the trip around the Baltic Sea. We hope to be able to hit the road this summer, and cycle from Stockholm to Copenhagen and then to Kiel (Germany).