SEB has room for both experts and generalists

Photo: Kristofer Hedlund

Cooperation, engagement and sustainability: three watchwords that make Michaela Jernbeck proud about her employer, SEB. She is new to her role as Head of Risk & Valuation Services, and with each day that passes she is gaining a broader perspective.

Michaela and her department at SEB work with financial analysis for large corporates and financial institutions – customers that want control over their investments. With information from customers, SEB uses advanced quantitative models to convert data. It thus involves mathematics at a very high level.

Major development opportunities

Michaela has a background in mathematics from KTH, where she studied industrial economics with an emphasis on applied mathematics and optimisation. Many in her work group have engineering backgrounds.

“During my studies I did not know what I wanted to work with or what industry I wanted to work with,” she says. “When SEB advertised for summer vacancies five years ago, I applied – mainly to learn something. And I found major development opportunities.”

After completing her studies Michaela was selected for SEB’s international trainee programme in the Large Corporates & Financial Institutions division. Today she is new to her role as Head of Risk & Valuation Services. As a young leader she feels that she has support from her colleagues and those under her charge.

“My workdays are now based on understanding the customers’ perspectives and why they buy our services. It’s exciting! We cooperate with other parts of the bank and talk with people who are experts in their fields. This helps us develop new products and learn.”

My days are based on understanding the customers’ perspectives

Inspired by people and future focus

Michaela gains inspiration from meeting people from other parts of the bank who have the shared goal of moving the company forward. She also appreciates the fact that there is a higher purpose in the bank and that SEB works with sustainability from many different perspectives.

“In the part of the bank where I work, I think we make the biggest difference when we can help our customers. For example, we can perform analyses of how sustainable our customers’ portfolios are and how they work with respect to a number of ESG criteria.” (ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance.)

Recipe for success – an engaged employer

SEB is a popular place to work, according to Michaela. She believes the need for both generalists and specialists is an attractive feature. Here employees have an opportunity to take a deep dive into a specific area in addition to broadening their general knowledge. SEB is also active at colleges and universities. Michaela meets students and is eager to talk about all the opportunities that exist for those who are curious about SEB and the world of finance.

“It is good to start somewhere where you can understand what you are interested in. When I was in school I felt it was hard to know – I didn’t have any experience.”

Michaela’s focus now is on developing her own department. She tries to look around the corner to see what is happening in the world. What factors will be affecting people and the business?

“I think you need to be perceptive. We need to have an in-depth understanding of our customers and see what they need. When our customers’ behaviours change, then we need to also change our products. We can have a plan or an idea, but we must also be prepared to adapt it!”

Writer: Eva Rydinger