Senior management


Benedikt Gíslason

Benedikt was born in 1974. Benedikt was appointed CEO 1 July 2019.

Benedikt joined FBA (later Íslandsbanki) in 1998, held a variety of managerial positions at Straumur-Burðarás, was managing director of capital markets at FL Group and managing director of the investment banking division of MP banki. Benedikt worked as a senior advisor for Iceland’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and was vice-chairman of a government task force on the liberalization of the capital controls between 2013 and 2016. He served on the board of directors of Kaupthing from 2016 to 2018 and was an advisor to Kaupthing on matters relating to Arion Bank. Benedikt was elected to the Board of Directors of Arion Bank in September 2018 and served on the board until his appointment as CEO.

Benedikt gained a C.Sc. in mechanical and industrial engineering from the University of Iceland in 1998.

Organizational chart 2019


Executive committee


Business segments

Deputy CEO and managing director of Corporate & investment banking

Ásgeir H. Reykfjörð Gylfason

Ásgeir H. Reykfjörð Gylfason was born in 1982. He became Deputy CEO and Managing Director of Corporate & Investment Banking in September 2019.

Ásgeir joined the investment bank Straumur in 2004 and later became the group’s compliance officer. He then worked for the law firm LOGOS in Reykjavík and London from 2009 to 2012 and was chief legal officer at MP banki from 2012 to 2015. He was a member of the task force for capital account liberalization in 2015 and was managing director of the corporate division at Kvika from 2015 to 2019. Ásgeir taught in the faculty of law of Reykjavík University from 2010 to 2015 and has served on the boards of several companies in Iceland and abroad.

Ásgeir is licensed to practise before the district court and graduated with a degree in law from Reykjavík University.

Managing director of Retail banking

Iða Brá Benediktsdóttir

Iða Brá was born in 1976. Iða Brá was appointed Managing Director of Retail Banking in July 2017.

Iða Brá has worked for Arion Bank and its predecessor since 1999 when she joined the research department. She has held various positions within the Bank including Head of a department within Treasury and Head of Corporate Communications. Iða Brá was managing director of Investment Banking from 2016 to 2017. Iða Brá served on the board of numerous companies, including Ólafsfjörður savings bank, AFL – savings bank, Landfestar and HB Grandi hf. Iða Brá is the vice chairman of the board of Vörður tryggingar.

Iða Brá graduated with a degree in business administration from the University of Iceland in 1999 and has a Master's in finance from the Erasmus Graduate School of Business. She is also a certified stockbroker.

Managing director of Markets

Margrét Sveinsdóttir

Margrét was born in 1960. She was Managing Director of Asset Management at Arion Bank from February 2009 to September 2019 when she took on the position of Managing Director of Markets.

Between 2007 and 2009 she was head of financial institutions client relations at Glitnir. From 1990 to 2007 she was head of securities brokerage and advisory at Íslandsbanki Securities Ltd, later the asset management division of Glitnir. Between 1985 and 1988 she worked in the credit division of the Industrial Bank of Iceland. Margrét has served on a number of boards of directors, including: The Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund on behalf of SFF, Okkar Life Insurance and several funds in Luxembourg.

Margrét graduated with an MBA from Babson College in Massachusetts in 1990 and a cand. oecon. degree in business administration from the University of Iceland in 1986. She is also a certified stockbroker.

Support units

Chief financial officer

Stefán Pétursson

Stefán was born in 1963. He was appointed Chief Financial Officer at Arion Bank in August 2010. Stefan was interim CEO of Arion Bank from 1 May to 30 June 2019.

Stefán joined Landsvirkjun in 1991, first as head of funding and from 1995 as treasurer. He became chief financial officer of Landsvirkjun in 2002 and sat on the company’s negotiation committee with energy intense industry. While on leave from Landsvirkjun in 2008 he served as the CEO of the investment company HydroKraft Invest hf. From 1986 to 1989 Stefán worked as head of administration at the Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories Institute. Stefán has held a number of directorship positions and other positions of responsibility in recent years. He is currently a member of the board of Landfestar hf. and the Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund on behalf of SFF. Stefán is a member of the board of directors at Valitor hf.

Stefán graduated with an MBA from Babson College in Massachusetts in 1991 and a cand. oecon. degree from the faculty of business of the University of Iceland in 1986.

Managing Director of Information Technology

Styrmir Sigurjónsson was appointed managing director of Information Technology in December 2019. He will take up the position in February 2020.

Internal control

Chief risk officer

Dr. Gísli S. Óttarsson

Gísli was born in 1963. Gísli was appointed Chief Risk Officer of Arion Bank in April 2009.

From 2006 to 2009 he was head of research and development in Kaupthing Bank’s risk management division. From 2001 to 2006 he was a software designer and advisor for the engineering software company MSC. Software in the United States. From 1994 to 2001 Gísli worked for Mechanical Dynamics Inc. in the US as a software architect and development manager for the multibody dynamics and motion analysis software ADAMS.

Gísli was awarded a PhD in mechanical engineering in 1994 and gained an MSc in applied mechanics in 1989, both from the University of Michigan. Gísli received a BSc in civil engineering from the University of Iceland in 1986. He is also a certified stockbroker.

Compliance officer

Hákon Már Pétursson

Hákon was born in 1981. He was appointed Compliance Officer of Arion Bank in April 2011.

From 2009 to 2011 Hákon worked for Kvasir Legal as a specialist in financial services and financial restructuring. Between 2006 and 2009 Hákon worked as a specialist in the securities market division at the Financial Supervisory Authority of Iceland (FME). During this time he was the FME’s representative on various expert groups, including the Takeover Directive expert group and the MiFID expert group at the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR). He was also a guest lecturer at the University of Reykjavík and Reykjavík University.

He graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Iceland in 2007. He is also a certified stockbroker and holds an international advanced certificate in anti-money laundering.

Chief audit executive

Sigríður Gudmundsdóttir

Sigríður was born in 1974. She was appointed Internal Auditor of Arion Bank in February 2019.

Sigríður was Internal Audit Director at Marel hf. from 2010 until she joined Arion Bank. Prior to that she worked in the finance division of Alcoa Fjarðaál and in the internal audit division of Landsbankinn. Sigríður was a member of the audit committee of Stefnir, the Bank’s subsidiary, from 2014 to 2018 and the audit committee of Sparisjóður Austurlands from 2009 to 2019.

Sigríður graduated with an MSc in finance and accounting from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2007 and a cand.oecon. from the University of Iceland in 2003. She completed a CIA certification in internal auditing in 2006. Other certifications she has completed from The Institute of Internal Auditors are CFSA, CRMA and CCSA. 

Changes in 2019

There were a number of changes to the senior management at Arion Bank in 2019. Höskuldur H. Ólafsson stepped down as CEO in April and Stefán Pétursson, CFO, took over as chief executive on a temporary basis while the process of hiring a new CEO was in progress. Benedikt Gíslason was appointed CEO and took up the position on 1 July. Jónína S. Lárusdóttir, who had been managing director of the Legal division, stepped down in September, as did Rakel Óttarsdóttir who had been the managing director of Information Technology. Lýður Þ. Þorgeirsson and Rúnar Magni Jónsson also left the Bank’s executive committee in September.