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Offshore Leaks Database

Data from
Panama Papers - The Power Players
Iceland's minister of finance

Bjarni Benediktsson

He and partners owned Seychelles company during Iceland's banking crisis

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Bjarni Benediktsson is Iceland’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs and has been a member of parliament since 2003. Benediktsson has led the Independence Party since 2009 and formed a coalition government with Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and the Progressive Party after 2013 elections. He comes from a wealthy family and served as chairman of both N1, Iceland’s biggest oil firm and gasoline retailer, and its holding company, BNT, from 2005-2008. Benediktsson weathered a minor scandal in 2015 when it emerged that he had registered on the Ashley Madison cheating website for married men. His great uncle, also named Bjarni Benediktsson, was prime minister of Iceland from 1963 to 1970.

In the data

Benediktsson and two Icelandic businessmen owned a Seychelles shell company called Falson & Co, which was purchased through the Luxembourg branch of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki in 2005. Falson issued bearer shares, which confer ownership to whomever holds the physical share certificates. Bearer shares are typically used to provide an extra layer of secrecy for the ownership of an asset. Falson was struck off the register of companies in 2010. “I have not had any assets in tax havens or anything like that,” Benediktsson told a television interviewer in 2015.


Benediktsson said Falson was created to hold four apartments in a building under construction in Dubai, which were sold at a loss in 2009. “I had no intention or need to hide ownership,” Benediktsson said. “I declared my ownership of the company to the tax authorities in Iceland.”
This visualization contains relevant information in relation to the profiled individual. Some additional connections might show up once we release the full structured data connected to the Paradise Papers investigation in the coming weeks.


There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. The inclusion of a person or entity in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database is not intended to suggest or imply that they have engaged in illegal or improper conduct. Many people and entities have the same or similar names. We suggest you confirm the identities of any individuals or entities included in the database based on addresses or other identifiable information. The data comes directly from the leaked files ICIJ has received in connection with various investigations and each dataset encompasses a defined time period specified in the database. Some information may have changed over time. Please contact us if you find an error in the database.

There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. Read more