Brilliant minds – meet an awarded one here

We're proud to share the success of one of our graduates who was awarded for an outstanding Master’s Thesis. Meet the winner and hear his story.

From left Christian August Tjaum, Simen Wiedswang, NFI spokes person.


Christian August Tjaum from Nordea Markets has received an award from The Norwegian Finance Initiative (NFI) for his outstanding Master’s Thesis. We had the chance to interview the man himself. Get to know Christian, and hear his thoughts about winning the prize, his life at Nordea – and about his career dreams.

It’s quite extraordinary – not only to get a NFI award, but also the thesis itself. Even so, that’s what Christian (25) and his fellow-student Simen achieved when they won the Norwegian Finance Initiative (NFI) Master’s Thesis Award 2017 for their thesis “The Effect of Arbitrage Activity in Low Volatility Strategies”. The Master’s Thesis Award is an initiative established to cheer outstanding Master’s theses in financial economics in Norway, and in the following Christian tells why he thinks that NFI awarded their thesis.

Never been done before

Congratulations Christian, credit for the result. In short, what was your thesis about?

Thanks. Well, it is basically a proof of something that most finance students learn within their first year of study. In short, we prove that as more investors enter a given trading strategy, the abnormal returns of their portfolio decline with activity in that strategy and through time.

Why do you think that your thesis was the best this year?

I think the NFI liked our thesis because of its relevance and how it fits with the existing literature on the subject. I also think they appreciated that we made a contribution and did something that, to our knowledge, has never been done before.

1, 2, 3, numbers are everything

Why did you choose to apply for a graduate position in Nordea Markets?

I chose to apply for the position as a graduate in Markets because I wanted to combine my interest in numbers with my passion for sales. I was persuaded by the opportunities you get as a graduate here, the day to day tasks that fit my profile perfectly, and of course having Nordea as my employer.

My educational background is solely finance based. I really like to work with numbers and have also found an interest in programming over the course of my studies.

Christian’s time as a Nordea graduate

Which department of Nordea Markets do you work in?

I currently work in Risk Advisory here in Norway. We work with various customers and advise them on risk mainly related to currency and interest rates. What I like with this position is that I get to solve complex problems using quantitative analysis while also explaining to our customers how our solutions are superior to those of our competitors.

What do you expect to learn from the graduate programme?

After completing the graduate programme I hope to have acquired a better understanding of the bank as a whole. I would also like to extend my network within Nordea here in Norway and to our Nordic neighbours.

What have you learned so far?

Other than the day to day business activities, I have had the pleasure of meeting great colleagues from multiple areas of the bank.

What are your future career aspirations after the programme?

Going forward I would like to benefit from the opportunities within Nordea and expand my toolbox when it comes to analysis and sales.



If you want to get to know other brilliant graduates, we have made two articles where we ask candidates about their background, what they do and what they hope to achieve from the graduate programme. Click here to read the first one.

And for more insights to Nordea Markets’ graduate programme, click here.