Institutional Banking is both a coverage and product organisation. The business area has approximately 150 employees in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the UK, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.
“In Coverage we take overarching responsibility for institutional customer relationships concerning both customer satisfaction and profitability”, says Peter. The aim is to boost the combined business in the entire bank’s product offering and our customers create activity in, among other things, trading and custodian services.
“On the product side, we noticed during the corona crisis last year that customers had some decision-making angst. Their focus was on continuity plans, and they did not want to make forward-looking decisions. The market in now beginning to normalise, and volatility is declining. But in return, customers are reverting to more normal decision-making processes. They are willing to invest in new assets and requesting more advice.”
Institutional Banking’s customer base consists in part of financial investors such as pension funds, insurance companies and hedge funds, and in part of traditional actors as well as new, niche actors and fintech companies.
What do the growth opportunities look like?
“We see no need for geographic expansion – for us it’s best to dig where we stand with a vision to be the undisputed leader in the Nordic Market. We already have a strong home bank position in Sweden, and in the other Nordic markets the goal is to advance our position and take the final leap from product provider to home bank. We also have much more to do in the UK and Asia in our strength areas of Nordic products and sustainability.
“The market is growing, and there is quite a sizeable flow of capital that needs to be placed. Investors are interested in alternative investments and sustainability-linked investments. We are strong in both of these areas.
“A lot is happening also on the bank side, where traditionally we have served banks that are more counterparts than customers. Now, new niche players are emerging that are focusing only on consumer credits or smart payment solutions, for example, but which are in need of financial infrastructure. This development is unfolding fast, it is disruptive, and it is quite hard to foresee. The only thing we know is that in five or ten years, things will look entirely different than they do today. We just have to go with the flow.”
What are the most important priorities going forward?
“First, ensuring that we successfully handle the rush we are currently experiencing in sub-custody. SEB is essentially the only remaining Nordic actor in this area, and we are working closely with Investor Services to take care of customers. We also want to take advantage of the opportunity to build further momentum in Global Custody and the portfolio solutions area. As the absolute dominant sub-custody actor in the Nordic countries it is natural that we let our Nordic customers know that we want to take responsibility for all of their post-trade needs.
“Another priority area is alternative investments. We were far-sighted already ten years ago when we, together with Investment Management, developed the first private equity and real estate funds. However, a continued relevant product range and continued investment is required. In parallel, we will also strengthen our focus on the fast-growing segment of asset managers, who specialize in illiquid assets.
“Thirdly, we will continue to focus on sustainability. We have a strong sustainability brand, but development is going fast, and we need to work hard to maintain our position as a trusted sustainability adviser. This won’t happen by itself.