Thanks New York for an amazing summer

It was back in December, when I received a mail from Head of Sales, FICC NY, telling me I had the opportunity to spend summer in the New York office.

By Christian Hjalmarsson, Senior Analyst, Corporate FX

The process did, however, start earlier in the beginning of the autumn 2016 with a job ad for a summer position at our New York branch. I thought I had a pretty good understanding of what role our FX desk in New York plays, as I had had some contact with them previously, and worked together with Jon Bergsten, Senior Sales Manager, FICC Sales NYC, and Steven Walker, Chief Sales Manager, FICC Sales NYC. What the rest of the branch did was however rather unknown to me.

A great opportunity

So this position felt like a great opportunity to get to know the N.Y. office better, to learn more about how we serve our Scandinavian overnight customers as well as the local US customers, and at the same time extend my network within the bank. The fact that New York is New York and the major financial capital of the world, did of course not contribute negatively to my expectations!

 View from the top of Rockefeller Center overlooking Manhattan.

After an extensive VISA process – making sure nobody in the US could perform the work tasks I was set to perform – the airplane hit US ground mid-July, and my six weeks of work in the city started. Quickly I discovered that two other guys, Stefan Bartholdson, Head of Trading, FICC NYC, and Carl-Axel Yllner, Chief Sales Manager, FICC NYC, also were new in town, and it was a real pleasure to discover their new home town together with them.

Many of the evenings during my stay, I spent either running in Central Park, sitting at a rooftop with a few drinks overlooking Manhattan, or at a nice restaurant in Williamsburg together with these two fellow Swedes.

Early morning in Central Park.

Nordea’s New York office is located in the very heart of Manhattan at the Avenue of the Americas, right between Rockefeller Center and Times Square. Around 130 colleagues work in our New York Branch. The branch has all the necessary business areas in place to make sure we serve our Nordic customers’ subsidiaries as well as the local customers in the best possible way.

More trading intensive customers

In the Markets dealing room where I worked, the focus is on foreign exchange (FX) and interest rate derivative business. My workday was somewhat similar to a day back in Stockholm, but in N.Y. there was a lot more customer interaction and more trading intensive customers, than I usually cover.

My workday started around 7.30 a.m. coming into the office and spending some time to get up to speed with what has happened during the European morning and analysing what might be the market drivers that particular day. This to make sure you are prepared when the International coverage are handed over just before 11 a.m.

Rather unexpected

One of the things that surprised me the most was the large number of local North American based customers trading FX with Nordea. During the summer, besides managing our Scandinavian overnight customer base, I made trades with corporates ranging from the east coast to the west coast as well as from Mexico and Canada. This was not something I had expected, and it provided me with a chance to do some reading and fill some gaps regarding the latest moves in USD/MXN, a currency pair I seldom trade in Stockholm.

Other tasks during my summer internship included updating and improving models used when advising customers trading FX Options, and in depth analysis of a bond restructuring case as well as making some of the reporting processes in use more efficient.

The weeks in the City went by way too fast, and too soon it was time to head home to Stockholm again.

I enjoyed some really amazing weeks in New York – both professionally and socially.

Thanks to all the colleagues working in the New York dealing room for taking so good care of me, sharing your knowledge and making me feel as one in your skilled team during my stay. Last but not least, New York – See you again soon!

/Christian Hjalmarsson

Click to read about Sonja Karsten’s summer at the Nordea Markets’ branch in Singapore: “What a summer – thank you Singpore!”