Luxembourg is identified in the Nordic countries as the heart of the European financial sector and has the reputation of a “nice place to live”. According to Statistics Portal of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Nordics represent 2% of the foreigners in Luxembourg and 1% of all the residents. That being said, they are “among the most visible and involved international communities in the Grand Duchy”.
The Nordics originally came for companies such as Nordea, SEB, Danske Bank, Swedbank, etc. And even if all these companies did not stay in Luxembourg, most of the Nordic talents did. Having a good understanding of the Nordic market and culture, my aim within Talantlers is to create opportunities and build bridges between Nordic countries and their talents, and the Luxembourgish financial market.
In order to understand better the real status of the Nordic businesses and opportunities here in Luxembourg, I had the pleasure to interview Hugo Rönneskog, Country Manager Sweden at Gatsby & White, in Luxembourg.
“Thank you Hugo for accepting my invitation for this interview! Could you start by telling us what got you to Luxembourg in the first place and what made you stay?
Before coming to Luxembourg I was in Florida, in order to combine my studies and basketball. I then tried to stay in the USA, but having a junior profile, it was an issue finding a job to get a VISA. I eventually decided to move back to Europe, even if I did not have a network built there yet.
Thanks to my personal network, I was given the opportunity to have a one year graduate training program within Lombard International Insurance, which led me afterwards to a position as a Key Account Manager there.
What made me stay is the job opportunity that I got at the time, and my family’s wish to stay in Luxembourg and live in a safe place.
To what extend does the Luxembourgish market need new Nordic candidates?
Approximately 10 years ago there were big Nordic banks such as Nordea present in Luxembourg, but since then they were bought by other structures. It left the Luxembourgish market with Nordic candidates, but less Nordic businesses.
The Nordic pool of candidates has changed over the last few years and it has been difficult to find young people on the market. And that has been bad for the Nordic eco-system. We have to find a way to attract more young Nordic profiles, and find a way to convince them to stay.
How do you see it moving forward in the few next years?
As I told earlier, there are less Nordic people on the Luxembourgish market, which attracts less Nordic business as well.
I feel like there is a need for a Nordic recruiter to try and find new Nordic candidates, from all over world, and not exclusively from Luxembourg anymore. Someone needs to build a bridge between Nordic candidates/businesses, and Luxembourg.
Who solicits you for new job opportunities in Luxembourg; management, HR, recruiter…? Is it always related to the Nordic business ?
I have had good leads with recruiters for new job opportunities but it never really got to the end. When looking for a new opportunity, I applied to SEB and that is how I ended up being hired.
Regarding direct approaches, I was solicitated half of the time for Nordic opportunities and half of the time for other ones. Which is certainly explained by the fact that I have an important international background. Usually I was contacted 70% of the time by recruiters and 30% of the time by HR departments or management.
Thank you very much Hugo for taking the time to answer my questions and I wish you all the best in your future challenges.”