This article is based on an interview last week by FinnishNews (FN) with the CEO, Mr. T. Bergen, (TB) of Lego Bank, a major Danish Bank, specialising in help toy, and pig farm companies expand their business all over the globe.
FN: “Your bank has a special task to help Danish toy and pig exporters find new markets? How did you come up with the idea?”
TB: “Well first let me thank you for coming to interview us here at Lego Bank. We came up with this idea to just help Lego and Danish Pig sales across the globe because we have seen that there is no money to be made with housing loans and deposits. So we called in MacKinsey and the Boston Consulting Group and they came up with a “Lean” idea of supporting exports of Lego and Pigs and scaling down the less profitable business.”
FN: “How did you start this new business concept?”
TB: “The first thing we did was to close down the Danish network and lay-off some 5 000 bank employees. We only kept the ones that understood international payments and trade finance. We then opened offices in the fastest growing countries where we saw really big advantages to grow our business.”
FN: “That is fascinating. Wasn’t there an outcry when you closed the bank branches in Denmark?”
TB: “Not really, we have always given bad service to those retail customers that just wanted to queue up for deposits, loans and cash withdrawals. I think most customers were pleased to see the back of us. The employees all found jobs with FinTech companies that were offering them great futures, so long as they invested all their savings in these new companies.”
FN: “You mentioned that you opened in many countries that offered “big advantages”.
TB: “Yes, that was fairly easy to find countries like Luxembourg – Juncker certainly knew a thing or to about tax evasion and light regulation. And then there was Malta, a country that has an interesting insurance company run out of one of the Ministeries. The insurance premiums are a little high and you get a full banking licence and lots of interesting customers all interested in buying Lego and Pigs. And finally, we had the Baltic states where Russian speaking employees are only too pleased to work. They know how to keep their mouths shut, they are so good at attracting new customers and we do not have to pay big salaries. They seem to have plenty of other sources of income – real entrepreneurs like Mr. Trump, who we so much admire.”
FN: “I must admit that I have never heard of Russians being interested in buying Lego boxes and Pigs – it looks like you have come upon an incredible untapped market?”
TB: “It appears that Russians just need something to buy and sell. They are traders. It is in their DNA, just like us Danes…”
FN: “But this market appears to have been undiscovered?”
TB: “Look, that was why we employed the world’s best consultants. Even they did not understand how big the market was. In the first months there were literally thousands of Russians who were not only interested in buying Legos and Pigs, but also wanted to trade them. That was great because when the same people are buying and selling every day, the market become very liquid. It became so liquid that we decided to create an electronic market where Legos and Pigs did not have to be delivered. Sending Legos through the post is fine but sending Pigs abroad involves lorries, cleaning pig shit and urine – and who wants to have lots of pigs at home in the garden?”
FN: “So you are telling us that your global business is buying and selling Lego boxes and digital pigs with Russians? If the market is so big, why are the Supervisory Authorities claiming that you bank is laundering money?”
TB: “Well you know that people get envious of our success and try to create fake news to hurt us. We are satisfying a need to help Russians trade, and they just love Lego and Pigs.”
FN: “You own career has been impressive. You were just the CEO of the Baltic operations, and now you have been promoted to CEO’s position on the back of this new business success. You must be very pleased with the result.”
TB: “Well we did a great job. We just came up with a new idea and made tons of profits. I deserve to be CEO, and nothing will remove me from my rock-solid position.”
As we left the bank, the police were holding back protesters who were demanding the resignation of the CEO for alleged money laundering. It is such a shame that real entrepreneurs like Mr. Trump and TB get punished when they are so successful.