FFP: Why my work is so rewarding – from front, middle, every day …

I'm Aleksi, one of the 20 FFPs. With a background in Finance and Computer Science I grow and add value every day - hear how and why it's so rewarding.

By Aleksi Hartikainen

Aleksi Hartikainen

My name is Aleksi Hartikainen (age 23) – Assistant Controller in Finance and Risk, Global Financial & Risk Information Control.

I am a recent finance graduate from the University of Vaasa. In addition to finance, I have studied Computer Science in my bachelor’s degree. Previously, I have worked as an auditor trainee and solution consultant.

I am currently at Global Financial & Risk Information Control (GFRIC) where I work in a team called Processes & Implementation, which is in the middle office.

If you are not familiar with the distinction between the front and the middle office in the bank, then let me explain it in brief terms.

In the front office, people are, among others, working with customers, selling products & services, executing trades and doing macro and equity research. Whereas the middle office, you are working on risk controlling, risk monitoring and profit & loss reporting. Thus, the middle office is responsible for mitigating various risks like market risk, counterparty credit risk, liquidity risk, business risk and product risk.

Meet my team and hear about day-to-day tasks

Our team consists of 11 people from various backgrounds and with different skills, and it includes fellow FFPs such as Iida Herttuainen. Iida and I have worked on month-end reporting together, and it has been nice to have a fellow newcomer sitting very close to me (next to each other) – even though the FFP programme introduces you to other departments and colleagues.

Klaus Uhle, Aleksi Hartikainen and Iida Herttuainen

From left: FFPs Klaus Uhle, Aleksi and Iida taking a coffee break.

One very characteristic thing about my team is that our tasks require both financial and technical skills to solve. To name a few of our tasks, we do daily P&L reporting of Nordea Markets trading & sales, back testing of Nordea’s Value at Risk (VaR) models and develop reporting processes and systems.

Usually, my day consists of tasks like creating back testing report, attending team meetings and working on projects. The projects that I have worked on include automating various reporting processes, adding new information to reports and investigating and fixing issues. From a technical perspective, I usually work with VBA, SQL and Python on these projects.

The most rewarding part of my job

To me, working on projects is the most rewarding part of the work, as I can see the benefits of my contribution very clearly. For example, it is very rewarding to see the benefit when the time of creating a report decreases tremendously. The projects have also taught me a lot. Before joining the FFP programme, VBA was not part of my toolbox. However, today I can use my VBA programming skills to add value to a lot of processes within the finance industry and beyond.

One very interesting project I have worked on was to improve an FX option report with Python. After finishing the project, we reduced the time it takes to make the report from 30-45 minutes to a couple of minutes. In another project, I fully automated a report from scratch as it was previously done manually.

Great atmosphere – great people

In addition to the interesting and challenging tasks, I think the work atmosphere at the middle office is great. People here are encouraging and always willing to help. Also, you are given more responsibility and tasks as you learn and grow.

Furthermore, you get to know about other departments in Nordea Markets and of course other new FFPs. Conclusively, the things that makes the FFP programme great, are the combination of skilled people, continious learning and interesting work tasks.

/ Aleksi Hartikainen


Learn more about the FFP program and application daet and requirements here. Also, don’t miss out on the previous blog posts from our this year’s Future Finance Professionals in Helsinki:

Article #1: “Summer is here – some talents use it to get smarter!” by Arttu, Tommi and Roope.

Article #2: “Being part of datafying banking” by Eemeli, Matias and Klaus

Article #3: “At the heart of the bank, Treasury – hectic and fun” by Antti and Tuomas

Article #4: “I get to work with, and learn from the “top-tier-pros” by Max

Article #5: “The buzzing FFP life at Nordea – with a Hawaii twist” with Fun Managers Henry and Saija

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