Per Ditlev-Simonsen

Per Ditlev-Simonsen (born 12 June 1932) is a Norwegian politician. He was the mayor of Oslo, representing the Conservative Party, from 1995 to 2007. He stepped down on 23 August 2007 following the Swiss bank-account scandal.

Per Ditlev-Simonsen
64th Mayor of Oslo
In office
25 October 1995 – 29 August 2007
Preceded byAnn-Marit Sæbønes
Succeeded bySvenn Kristiansen
Minister of Defence
In office
16 October 1989 – 3 November 1990
Prime MinisterJan P. Syse
Preceded byJohan Jørgen Holst
Succeeded byJohan Jørgen Holst
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
1 October 1981 – 30 September 1985
Personal details
Born (1932-06-12) 12 June 1932 (age 89)
Oslo, Norway
Political partyConservative
RelationsOlaf Ditlev-Simonsen Sr (grandfather)
Olaf Ditlev-Simonsen Jr (uncle)
John Ditlev-Simonsen (uncle)
ChildrenCecilie Ditlev-Simonsen
ResidenceOslo, Norway
Alma materStanford University
OccupationShipping magnate

Ditlev-Simonsen was an officer of the Norwegian Royal Guards, and he later attended Stanford University getting a Master of Arts degree. After college, Ditlev-Simonsen became a partner in his father's shipping company Sverre Ditlev-Simonsen & Co (SDS) in 1955. He was a partner in the company until 1995.

Ditlev-Simonsen was a Member of Parliament from 1981 to 1985, serving in the Standing Committee of Finance. From 1989 to 1990 Ditlev-Simonsen was Minister of Defence in the Cabinet of Jan P. Syse.

Personal lifeEdit

Ditlev-Simonsen was born in Oslo to ship owner Sverre Ditlev-Simonsen and Lily Kaurin. He was a grandson of Olaf Ditlev-Simonsen Sr, and nephew of Olaf Ditlev-Simonsen Jr. He was married to Benedicte Werring (d.1990) from 1960, and to Turi Klaveness from 1992.[1]

Swiss bank account tax probeEdit

In August 2007, the presence of a hitherto unknown Swiss bank account was revealed. The revelation came after an acrimonious divorce involving his daughter, Cecilie Ditlev-Simonsen, the communications director of Norsk Hydro.[2] The account, which contained NOK 1.5 million had been inherited by Ditlev-Simonsen after his wife died in 1990, and he eventually admitted to not having paid the Norwegian wealth tax on it.[3]

The revelation caused several opposition politicians to call for Ditlev-Simonsen's resignation. Erna Solberg, the head of the Conservative Party, asked that Ditlev-Simonsen refrain from active campaigning for his party ahead of the local elections scheduled for 10 September. Even if he had not resigned, the 75-year-old Ditlev-Simonsen was set to retire after the election.[4] The incident was believed to be a cause of the Conservative's 4 percent drop in opinion polls, three weeks ahead of the election.[5]


  1. ^ Kortsen, Bjarne. "Per Ditlev-Simonsen". In Helle, Knut (ed.). Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  2. ^ Aftenposten (August 17, 2007). "Mayor caught in tax probe".
  3. ^ Aftenposten (August 20, 2007). "Mayor sorry but won't resign".
  4. ^ Aftenposten (August 20, 2007). "Oslo's mayor faces resignation demands".
  5. ^ Aftenposten (August 22, 2007). "Voters abandon Conservatives".
Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Oslo
Succeeded by