New recruits at Första AP-fonden (AP1) are plunged straight into the core business and have an opportunity to influence the results. For AP1, new perspectives help to develop asset management.
AP1’s mission is to create strong returns on ca SEK 340 billion in the Swedish national pension system.
“The goal is clear and applies to everyone here. It’s easier to get into the swing of work if you know why you’re doing what you’re doing,” says Dmytro Sheludchenko.
He has been with AP1 for a few years and works in quantitative analysis, the field of asset management that develops and uses mathematical methods.
“We turn overriding goals into models so that they can be used systematically for our investments,” says Dmytro, a qualified mathematician who chose finance as an industry where he could apply his maths to real life.
“The possibility for doing that is particularly big at AP1. The Fund’s board and management decide how large the return should be, but then our group works together to decide how we can contribute to achieving that target, which is great. It’s also nice that my manager and other colleagues listen carefully to my ideas about what we can do.”
Ongoing development is important to AP1. This is why Dmytro’s manager, Patrik Nyman, sees great benefit in taking the views of junior employees on board.
“We constantly question whether we’ve analysed the investments correctly. New angles of approach help us to find new answers. Having access to several different perspectives is a great strength,” says Patrik.
Patrik Nyman is responsible for allocation, i.e. the distribution of capital between different types of asset. He has worked in the AP Fund system since 1992 and therefore has extensive experience of the field.
“I may be the one who’s ultimately responsible in our group, but there are hundreds of different ways of approaching a problem. I ask my co-workers a lot of questions about how they’re thinking.”
Dmytro feels this is a good thing.
The goal is clear and applies to everyone here.
“It’s very different to working with a boss who just says, ‘Do this’. Here we maintain a constructive dialogue, and you can take responsibility if you want to.”
AP1 offers internships, which are practical placements for young employees. There is also an ambition within the Fund to tutor academic theses.
There are also good opportunities here to develop alongside knowledgeable colleagues. The organisation is small and flat, and that allows daily collaboration across fields of expertise.
At the same time though, AP1 is a major global investor, with an extensive network outside of Sweden.
“It’s great working in an international environment and having a dialogue with the world’s leading asset managers,” Dmytro Sheludchenko concludes.