Former Swedbank chief appointed CEO of two Utilitas subsidiaries

Robert Kitt in the Vikerraadio studios.
Robert Kitt in the Vikerraadio studios. Source: Romi Hasa/ERR

Former Swedbank Estonia CEO Robert Kitt has been appointed CEO of two of energy group Utilitas' subsidiaries, replacing Andres Veske.

Kitt said: "I am grateful for the trust, and I will bring with me to Utilitas my experience from the management of a service company," adding that he also sees opportunities there for employing his physics doctoral studies in a real-world context in managing a company like Utilitas.

Utilitas is, together with the City of Tallinn, purchasing the majority stake held in Tallinn water supplier Tallinna Vesi by U.K. firm United Utilities Tallinn B.V.

Robert Kitt was suspended from his position of CEO at Swedbank Estonia in summer 2019, following a Swedbank internal audit on the back of investigative report by Swedish public broadcaster SVT which revealed around €135 billion in high-risk money moved through the bank's Estonian branch over a 10-year period, around the same time hundreds of billions of euros in potentially illicit funds passed through the portals of the now-defunct Dankse Bank Tallinn branch.

Kitt left Swedbank for good later that year.

Utilitas board members Aulis Meitus and Janek Trumsi will stay on, while board chair Andres Veske, will continue working until March 15, before taking up a post on the supervisory board of green economy cooperation platform Rohetiiger. 

Utilitas group CEO Priit Koit, expressed his gratitude to Veske for what he called his substantive contribution to the development of remote heating and the launch of the remote cooling service.

Starts work on March 1

Koit said: "Andres possesses a broad view of the upcoming challenges faced by the energy sector and I am glad that he will be able to employ his know-how in society more broadly. We wish him every success at Rohetiiger."

In addition to senior posts at Swedbank, Kitt has held positions with the Estonian Banking Association (Pangaliit) and the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Eesti Kaubandus-Tööstuskoda) and also sits on the board of trustees at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), BNS reports. He had at one point been tipped for the role of Bank of Estonia governor.

He will take up his new post as CEO at AS Utilitas Tallinn and AS Utilitas Eesti, OÜ Utilitas' remote heating subsidiaries, on March 1.

AS Utilitas Tallinn and AS Utilitas Eesti provide remote heating services in eight towns and cities across Estonia.

Other OÜ Utilitas subsidiaries include Tallinn heat and electricity producing company OU Utilitas Tallinna Elektrijaam, and the group's subsidiearies operate 547 kilometers of remote heating network, three combined heat and power (CHP) stations, 26 boiler houses and nine solar power plants, BSN reports, while the group employs a little over 250 people.

The Utilitas/City of Tallinn deal to buy Tallinna Vesi stake cost €100 million, divided equally between the two parties.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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