In addition to the Markets operations in Scandinavia, Nordea also has two international units, namely one office in Singapore and one in New York. Not only does this allow us to serve our Scandinavian customers around the clock, it also connects us with our international customers doing business in Scandinavia.
Every year, the international units are looking for coverage from Scandinavia to assist them for the summer holidays, when their employees leave for vacation. In this blog post, I will let you in on my experience about working at Nordea Markets in New York.
My name is André and I started in Nordea as a student in 2015. Since 2017, I have worked at the FX/MM Sales desk in Copenhagen. This summer, I was the fortunate one to be offered the opportunity to work at the office in New York City. I applied for the summer coverage position as I considered it a good opportunity to experience how we serve our customers outside the European hours. Also, I wanted to get to know my colleagues across the pond better. It felt as a good way to learn new things, broaden my horizon and share my daily work experiences from Copenhagen. Additionally, I must admit that living in New York for 6 weeks also sounded very exciting.
Surprising rate cut and roaring thunderstorm
While there is around 115 employees at our New York (NY) office, the front office operation occupies 10 people. The European and US trading sessions overlap for a few hours (from 14-17 CPH time / 8-11 NY time). The NY office mainly focuses on the domestic U.S. customer base. When the European session ends, the NY office additionally takes care of the European customers trading after-hours out of Scandinavia/Europe.
When entering the holidays, the markets tend to go into a summer lull. With fewer market participants, the market liquidity drops and therefore moves more on released data, announcements and central bank decisions. While I was there, a very vivid and exciting moment happened when the Federal Reserve cut US interest rates for the first time in 11 years. Jerome Powell surprised the market by not sounding as dovish as expected and called it an insurance cut.
I clearly remember the pricing fluctuation from the turning market and the heavy customer activity – all while a thunderstorm dramatically roared outside the office windows on the 23rd floor. On the following day, to top it all up, Donald Trup informed the world via a tweet that he would be adding additional tariffs on Chinese goods. Again, this came as a surprise to the market and made it bounce all over again.
An experience I’ll never forget
It was not only the hours at the office that were interesting. Spending 6 weeks in New York allows you to really explore the different neighborhoods, which all have so many unique things and different impressions to offer. The first couple of weeks I barely used the subway but walked my way around. Therefore, it did not take long before I started feeling familiar with the city. The number of good restaurants, bars, rooftops, brunch places and museums is countless and with concerts, Broadway shows, and all the different parks, it is really impossible to get bored.
I can highly recommend anyone with FX experience to apply for the summer coverage position. Not only to be surrounded by highly competent, inspiring and welcoming colleagues, but also to experience the atmosphere of living and working in New York. Something just makes this vibrant city very special, whether it’s going for after-work drinks, picking up lunch surrounded by all the other people in suits – or watching the sunset over Manhattan from a rooftop bar in Williamsburg.
The time I spent with my colleagues and by hosting my visiting friends and family definitely made this an experience I will never forget.
All the best,
And stay updated on the career prospects at Nordea Markets by tuning in to the regular career blogs.
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