Landed dream job via graduate programme

Working for the fund was Snorre Gjerde’s great aspiration. For five years as a student, our graduate programme was at the back of his mind. Today, he is part of a team in the ownership department focusing on environmental issues in the portfolio.

When Snorre Gjerde was in his first year at NHH Norwegian School of Economics, he attended a presentation of the fund’s graduate programme. It immediately piqued his interest.

“The presentation painted a really good picture of the programme,” he says. “The chance to try so many different things seemed exciting. Given my interest in societal issues, international relations, numbers and finance, it was the perfect match. I kept the programme in mind throughout my studies and used it as motivation along the way.”

Investing responsibly for the future

After studying in Bergen, Milan and London, Snorre was ready to look for a job, and he was still determined to join the fund. After an intense interview process, he finally got the call he had been waiting for.

“When I was offered a place on the graduate programme, I said yes straight away. And it has more than lived up to expectations!”

As part of the programme, Snorre got to try his hand at a variety of jobs in different departments in both Oslo and London. He worked on risk management and active equity investing, did a placement at an international investment bank and completed an MBA at London Business School. Towards the end of the programme, he was encouraged to think about his future career. He values the way he was encouraged to make the right choices for him and given the space to do so.

“I went right back to why I wanted to join the fund in the first place – the combination of the financial and the societal, the importance of the fund as a responsible investor – and was given time to reflect on how I could best work on just that.”

 

Which led him to a job that combines all of the above.

“I’m now working in a team focusing on stewardship of environmental issues in the fund’s portfolio – topics such as climate change, water management, biodiversity and ocean sustainability.”

Sustainability and financial returns go hand-in-hand. The ownership department’s role is to set clear expectations of how companies should address global sustainability challenges in their operations, and to steer them in the right direction.

“We work on improving standards and corporate sustainability reporting across markets. At the portfolio level, we follow up on the fund’s investments to reduce our exposure to unacceptable risks, and we also engage extensively with individual companies.

“We work on improving standards and corporate sustainability reporting across markets. At the portfolio level, we follow up on the fund’s investments to reduce our exposure to unacceptable risks, and we also engage extensively with individual companies.

 

It is now eight years since Snorre first set foot in the fund’s offices, but every day still brings new challenges. Spring, for example, is the busy season for companies’ annual meetings. The ownership department votes on more than 120,000 proposals from companies’ boards and shareholders during the course of a year.

“We have to consider a lot of complex issues, as there are often nuances and grey areas. While the world is not black and white, we still have to vote either yes or no. This can be a challenge, but it’s incredibly rewarding to be part of this and to influence our decisions. I learn something new every single day that I hadn’t anticipated on my way to work.”

Last saved: 14/06/2022

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