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Annika Falkengren received trade award in New York

Annika Falkengren on Monday became the 26th recipient of the Lucia Trade Award from the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC). The award, which was presented at a ceremony in New York, is given to those who have contributed to promoting trade between the US and Sweden. Previous recipients are well-known names such as Ronald Reagan, King Carl XVI Gustaf, and Swedish business leaders Ingvar Kamprad and Stefan Persson.

The annual award was started in 1987 and is alternately given to a Swede and an American. The first recipient was President Ronald Reagan, and the award has been given every year with the exception of 2003.

SACC stated that Annika Falkengren, during a stressful period for the financial industry, has shown "unwavering focus and a steadfast commitment to supporting SEB’s clients in their international business and trade."

In her acceptance speech, Annika Falkengren stressed that SEB as a corporate bank since its inception close to 160 years ago has stood for a strong belief in entrepreneurship and innovation, and a desire to promote an international perspective and open trade.

Historic ties

She also stressed that SEB has close ties with the United States, all the way from founder Andre Oscar Wallenberg who, after a stay in the U.S., took with him the idea of a modern banking system when he started Stockholms Enskilda Bank in 1856. SEB was also the initiator when the Swedish government in 1919 took its first foreign loans in the US after negotiations were handled by Jacob Wallenberg Senior. Also, SEB's New York office was opened almost 30 years ago.

The list of previous recipients are characterised by many well-known industry profiles. Among American recipients are former executives of companies such as IBM, Boeing, General Motors, Ford and Pfizer. Swedish recipients include Prince Bertil, Peter Wallenberg, Hans Rausing, Percy Barnevik, Curt Nicolin, Leif Johansson, Mickael Treschow and Bertil Hult.