Four desks down, three to go

Four intense weeks in to our internship and we have already visited four desks at Nordea Markets FICC in Stockholm.

Since we (Patrik Edberg & Marika Flod) are rotating between different desks each week we are constantly faced with new aspects of the activities on the trading floor. Although it is a challenge to understand the full operational scope of each desk during such a short time period, the employees and our weekly mentors have been of huge help answering our questions and inspiring us to solve problems we are pondering about.

The atmosphere on the entire trading floor has been very welcoming, which has enabled us to learn more than we could imagine in these few weeks. During these weeks we have so far managed to visit and partake in the work of four desks: Macro Research, Investment Products, Risk Advisory Debt, and Corporate FX.

We started off with an exciting week, the week of the Brexit referendum! We spent this week at Macro Research where we were tasked with presenting the financial consequences of Britain leaving the EU. This was then deemed fairly unlikely, but as we all know now our findings can be benchmarked with the actual outcome.

After our midsummer holiday we came back to a week when the markets were in complete turmoil and our mission was set to create a product that was suitable for the current market situation. We found as the markets had gone down quite a bit that a long product on an index could be interesting so we designed a booster with buffer on the EURO STOXX 50. During the week we could see our selling points for the product deteriorate as the index recovered and we learned a valuable lesson not to be too opportunistic when creating a product.

The following week we visited Risk Advisory for debt where we got challenged with a more technical task of valuing clients swap portfolios over time given different interest rate scenarios. This gave us the delight of familiarizing ourselves more with VBA and how to structure solid valuation models. During this week we also got good understanding on how debt portfolios are structured in practice.

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Last week we were at Corporate FX, which were our first out of two FX desks. We here encountered a case where we were to find a suitable product for a cross country start-up company and present what “value add” Nordea can bring to these types of companies. This gave us great insight in how the finance industry is transforming into more advice driven sales and how new client relations can be developed.

In addition to the cases, the internship has also provided lots of opportunities to sit down and talk with people, both juniors and seniors, and our lunch schedule has been fully packed since day one. This has given us the opportunity to get to know everyone on a more personal level and has made way for off work social events such as energizing training sessions in the office gym and enjoyable after works.

One of the most interesting parts of the summer at the trading floor has been the closeness to the market. We have, as mentioned, been able to see how the Brexit referendum and all its repercussions have affected the markets and the subsequent reactions on Nordea’s trading floor. Moreover, constantly meeting new people and seeing the different market reactions on each visited desk has given us a unique insight into what it is like to work at a trading floor and how the different desks interact with each other.

It is easy to say that there are endless learning opportunities at Nordea Markets FICC, which definitely will keep us curious to explore new desks in the next three concluding weeks of our internship.

Patrik & Marika

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