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Nordea now hiring for its wealth business


NORDEA Bank AB may be cutting thousands of jobs to go digital, but in its wealth management business, it's hiring.

The bank, which is moving its headquarters to Finland from Sweden for regulatory reasons, has hired about 75 people over the past year to help run its US$400 billion wealth unit, according to its head, Snorre Storset.

"Wealth management is a growth area which we have invested heavily in, not least asset management," he said in an interview in Oslo on Tuesday. "We've hired quite a lot in the past year."

Nordea's wealth management chief says that "as long as we continue the positive development in our business, we can absolutely" keep hiring to build the unit.

The wealth business employs about 3,600 people, 500 of whom are based outside the Nordic region. Staff numbers at the unit make up a little over 12 per cent of the total at Nordea, which is a slightly bigger proportion than in 2012, according to its annual reports.

Focus on asset management comes as Nordic banks have struggled to make money on traditional lending, with interest rates below zero across most of the region. It also coincides with a plan at Nordea to cut 4,000 jobs (and another 2,000 consultants hired by the bank) as management tries to rely less on humans and more on automation.

Elsewhere in Nordea, job cuts are continuing according to plan, Mr Storset said. "We replace manual processes with automation, so we need fewer employees."

The bank is also looking into "other ways of working", he said. "To be more agile in cross-functional teams. More freedom for the individual. And with fewer managers" and "fewer managers mean fewer jobs". BLOOMBERG