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AICEP
Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal

CABEÇALHO

Hub in the Lisbon area will start with 40 employees, but the goal is to reach 100 people by the end of the year. The hub will serve the Danish financial group's European and global business.

Access to professionals with a high level of English, renowned universities and a growing fintech ecosystem were some of the reasons for the establishment of the Nordea Asset Management (NAM) hub in Portugal. Installed in Oeiras, it starts with 40 employees, but the goal is to reach 100 people by the end of the year.

And the focus is on recruiting local talent. “We are recruiting local talent for the Portugal team. As we value the synergy that working in the office provides, we will not be looking for teleworkers outside of Lisbon,” Laura Donzella, market director for Portugal and regional director for Iberia, Latam and Asia, tells ECO.

With a volume of €292 billion in assets under management, NAM is the leading investment manager in the Nordic countries belonging to the largest financial services group in the region, the Nordea Group.

 

You are preparing to open a hub in Lisbon. What weighed in Lisbon’s favour?

The choice of Portugal, and Lisbon in particular, is the outcome of a series of reflections to solve some challenges resulting from our growing global footprint. Accessing and retaining talent has been a particular focus for us.  We found that Portugal ticks many of the boxes to help us address this. It offers a high level of English speaking skills, renowned universities, a growing fintech ecosystem and easy access from other key European locations for instance. Our ambition is to leverage the hub across the entire support value chain as well as improve our service to local clients. In this sense, this is a long-term strategic move for NAM and we are committed to increasing our local presence.

Our commitment here is long-term; we have established a permanent office in Oeiras, which can accommodate up to 100 people, where we now have around 40 staff members. Our aim is to scale up towards more than 60 by end of the year, and beyond in the coming years.

 

What investment did this bet involve?

We don’t see this as a bet; we see it as a long-term investment. When we decided on Portugal for our new hub, we initially focused on distribution, but we quickly realized there was an opportunity to recruit talent for the entire value chain, and complement our existing hubs in Denmark and Luxembourg. Hence, we intend to recruit staff for a wide range of positions covering operations, technology, marketing, product management and other business support functions.

Our commitment here is long-term; we have established a permanent office in Oeiras, which can accommodate up to 100 people, where we now have around 40 staff members. Our aim is to scale up towards more than 60 by end of the year, and beyond in the coming years.

 

Will recruitment focus on local talent or in view of the growth of the talent pool with teleworking — you can recruit from any location — are you thinking of opening vacancies for any geography?

We are recruiting local talent for the Portugal team. As we value the synergy that working in the office provides, we will not be looking for teleworkers outside of Lisbon. That said, we do accommodate work from home flexibility, as is the practice in NAM’s other hubs.

 

Many companies are struggling with a talent shortage. They describe a hot environment and increased salary pressure. What strategy are you using to gain an edge over the competition? Better pay, more benefits, a mix of the two?

Naturally, our compensation and benefits packages are competitive. As a Nordic employer, we have a culture that focuses on sustainability, innovation and openness. We believe that these unique qualities make us desirable company to work for.

Our team’s diverse backgrounds, experiences, characteristics and traits widen our perspectives and enable us to see things in different lights. Moreover, this diversity enriches our everyday lives; we’re  challenged, we learn new skills and we gain new experiences.

 

There are companies that are even ‘financing’ the relocation of talent to Portugal. Is this an option for NAM?

Our main focus is to recruit from the local market.

 

What work model will you implement? Hybrid, full remote, face-to-face?

The synergy that face-to-face working is invaluable to us, and this is our primary mode of operation. That said, we do accommodate work from home flexibility, as is the practice in NAM’s other hubs.

 

Several companies have been implementing 4-day work weeks. For NAM is this something on the table?

Asset management is a client-facing industry, and meeting the needs of our clients 5 days a week is vitally important to us. Therefore, we maintain a traditional work week. As stated above, we have work from home flexibility.

 

Are there plans for new investments in the Portuguese market, in other locations?

We currently do not have plans to open another office in Portugal. As stated above, we will continue to invest in growing our Lisbon office.

 

What kind of services and for which markets will NAM’s Lisbon hub provide services?

In the last three years, NAM has enjoyed very strong international expansion. This calls for talent acquisition across the value chain, from operations, IT, marketing reporting etc. Typically, these functions will serve our European and global business.

Our Portugal sales and client service teams, of course, will work closely with our other hubs in Luxembourg and Copenhagen. However the geographic proximity of Lisbon will be invaluable to our clients serving the Portuguese and LatAm markets.

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