As the year 2015 came to an end, so did my time participating in the Extended Future Finance Professional (EFFP) program. In this blog post I’ll share a few highlights on the program that proved to be a highly valuable investment both to myself as well as Nordea Markets, and give some insights into what I have been up to for the past couple of years.
Every year two talented individuals in Nordea Markets’ Helsinki office are chosen to participate in the 2-year EFFP program. During the program, the participants are given the opportunity to broaden their know-how and build a unique skill-set by doing a rotation within two or three different teams in Nordea Markets or even in other parts of the bank. One can choose to go for a “vertical” route and acquire in-depth knowledge of different functions within a product line, such as sales and trading in FX products. Alternatively, one can take a “horizontal” approach and build a wider understanding on what we are able to offer to our customers across product lines. It goes without saying that the program is a huge opportunity to the young participant to learn and develop oneself. On the other hand, in the heart of Nordea Markets’ business are its people, and investing in their knowledge is one of its key aspirations.
My own journey in Nordea Markets and the EFFP program has been a very interesting one and I’ve been able to learn immensely. I joined Nordea Markets in May 2013 and started off working with interest rate derivatives sales to SMEs and municipalities. After acquiring about a year’s worth of experience in interest rate hedging, I commenced the EFFP program and moved to the other side of the dealing room to work with structured investment products. Before I started the program we sat down with my mentor, who was assigned for me through the program, and discussed what would be the best way for me to go about. I thought that the world of investments was the biggest black box to me at the time, and we decided that pursuing it would be the perfect way to get on that steep learning curve again.
I spent roughly a year working with structured investment products, and not only got the opportunity to learn how to actually build the products, but also to work with skilled sales managers to come up with innovative investment solutions for a wide range of experienced customers. Being so closely tied to the capital markets enables us to offer our customers solutions not available for them from any other sources. This makes our offering, and with it this learning experience, quite unique.
My aspiration has always been to work closely with our customers. In order for me to get more in-depth knowledge on what Nordea is all about and how we want to service our customers, my next step in the EFFP program was a jump out of Markets into Nordea’s Corporate and Institutional Banking (CIB) unit, which is responsible for our largest corporate and institutional customers. One of the biggest benefits drawn from my time at CIB was expanding my professional network and getting to know our experienced customer representatives as well as colleagues from other units in Nordea, while having the opportunity to conduct various sorts of research and analyses aiming to deepen our customer relationships even further. Furthermore, I learnt that a prerequisite to superior customer experiences is tight cooperation between Nordea’s different units and people, and my experience at CIB was one that will most definitely help to develop this cooperation even further.
As for now, exciting times await once again, as I have returned to the dealing room to pursue new challenges.
– Minna Tuominen