Blog post April 24
I work in the central Group Finance department at Holmen’s head office in Stockholm. There are nine of us in my department and together we work on various financial issues such as analysis and evaluation of Holmen’s financial development, accounts and reporting, insurance questions and financing and financial risk management, the last two being my main focus.
Basically, my role is to analyse and follow developments on financial markets and the general economic climate. Gaining an understanding of the financial markets and the economic situation means I and my colleagues pave the way for Holmen to take informed decisions on strategic and tactical questions, to reduce the financial risks but also identify opportunities. This work then culminates in actual trade in currency, interest rates and different energy instruments that we are exposed to. Another important part of my work is about ensuring that we have effective financing in place, which means making sure we can borrow money at as low a cost as possible.
Although my main focus is on the financial aspects, my colleagues and I work closely together within the department. This means I also have the opportunity to work on different questions in our areas of responsibility, which means that besides being a lot of fun, my work also involves a lot of variety. In my next post I’ll be giving some real examples of this as you join me on a day in the office.
Blog post April 29
I have to admit that on the face of it, my job might look anything but packed with fun and variety – when it comes down to it, I’m a typical office worker and I spend most of my time working in Excel – but even if this is the case, every day is still different in terms of its content and I also get the chance to work on questions that I find really interesting.
Let’s go back to a day in my diary that shows a bit better what a working day is like in more normal conditions, e.g. 21 February, back when meetings weren’t just held on Teams and we actually got to see other people.
The day began with a meeting with two of our business areas, Holmen Timber and Holmen Skog. This monthly meeting was held on the phone, but for the natural reason that we are located in different places across Sweden, making it difficult to arrange face-to-face meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to strengthen cooperation between the business areas by updating each other on the status of the business concerned and creating consensus about the market. My role is to provide a wider context by talking about the general macroeconomic picture and the economy, both at home and especially globally. A very interesting meeting, especially for me as I’m otherwise quite a long way away from the business areas on the ground. The rest of the morning is filled with working at the computer. Typical aspects for me are reading news and analyses of various kinds, calculating risks or other modelling in Excel, a cup of coffee and maybe trading currency or an energy instrument such as emission allowances or electricity certificates, if the price is right.
As I mentioned, an important part of my work is keeping up to date on the market, which means I read a lot of news and analysis. I also meet the banks for talks by their economists and on that day there was a lunchtime talk on currency strategies at a bank. For me this is a perfect opportunity to ask questions and also meet other companies. Being able to discuss things with others to get new angles is always appreciated.
My afternoons usually feature a couple of meetings and then working at the computer. This might involve different, non-finance-related elements such as handling and stock valuation of emission allowances and electricity certificates, systemic questions, checking contracts, or larger projects like the one last spring when we reviewed our wind power strategy. As I said, every day is different and that’s something I really appreciate about my role. It’s a major advantage of working in a smaller financial department, I think 😊.
Blog post April 30
I think it’s clear by now that I really enjoy my job. Of course the work I do is an important contributory factor but an even more important reason behind why I love my job that I haven’t mentioned yet is the company I represent and my colleagues.
Holmen’s business concept to own and add value to the forest feels very timely and especially forward thinking. Holmen’s history goes back hundreds of years, bearing witness to the stability and continuity of the company which means that, even in these unprecedented times, I feel certain that Holmen will be able to hold its ground against the harsh winds that are blowing. We are a big company but it still feels like a family. The people around the business that I have had the opportunity to meet have all been so genuine and approachable and the same goes for my colleagues at head office, especially my immediate team. It is a true joy to be able to work with so many competent people in a workplace that gives us room to grow.
Now it’s time to say thank you and goodbye. I hope I’ve provided an insight into what working at Holmen can be like – I’d definitely recommend it!