The CEOs of two Icelandic pension funds resigned after they were named in the so-called Panama Papers, said statements on each fund's website.
Kari Arnor Karason, CEO of the 178.4 billion Icelandic kronur ($1.4 billion) Stapi pension fund, and Kristjans Arnar Sigurossonar, CEO of the 171.1 billion kronur Sameinaoa pension fund, resigned following their naming by Icelandic media in connection with the Panama Papers — a scandal surrounding the leaking of documents detailing offshore tax dealings.
In a statement published in English on Stapi's website, Mr. Karason said he received a telephone call from Icelandic news program Kastljos informing him that his name was in the Panama Papers in connection with two companies. His statement outlines details of both companies and his apparent connection, and said: “I earned no gain or yield from these companies and they bear no relation to tax evasion.”
Mr. Karason said in the decades prior to the collapse of Iceland's banking system, “numerous alluring offers were in circulation here” and “the course of events described above indicates that I was not immune to such gestures.”
He said his assessment of the “current social discourse with regard to offshore companies and tax havens is that it cannot be regarded as acceptable for a man in my position — that is, in charge of an establishment responsible for managing public pension savings — to have been associated with business operations of this kind. It is of no importance, in this regard, that those events happened long ago, whether the actions were legal or illegal or whether the person in question made a profit out of such business dealings or not.”
Details of any replacement were not available. Spokesmen could not be reached for comment.
A statement on Sameinaoa's website said Mr. Sigurossonar resigned from the pension fund, with Olafur Haukur Jonsson, director of operations, taking over until a new CEO is appointed.
Mr. Sigurossonar's statement was published only in Icelandic. Spokesmen could not be reached for comment by press time.