Personality award opened doors for fund selector ready for new role

Winning an investment magazine's Personality of the Year award in 2018 opened international doors for Mia Söderberg and gave her a strong international network - a network she will be using in her new role at Munich Re. The former Nykredit selection manager reflects on her career so far.
Photo: PR / Munich RE
Photo: PR / Munich RE

Which career path did you envision for yourself when you were younger?

"When I was really young, I wanted to be a cashier at a supermarket as they had so many interesting buttons to push. That dream changed. Later on, before going to the university, I was very much into social and political studies.

My goal back then was to work in that field, working with international politics or an institution like the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). I started at university studying political studies and economics but when I was introduced to economics in my second semester, I was just hooked.

I found it super interesting, and changed my university studies to economics, capital markets and econometrics instead."

Which part of your education have you used the most in your career?

"The economics studies and the econometric studies have probably been of most use to me as I learned a lot about how economic data is interlinked.

I learned how political or non-economic events can have an impact on world economies and markets. I was also part of an exchange program in Singapore where I studied economics and Chinese.

Some of the courses were about international development economics. It gave me great knowledge of and insight into economic development in developing countries."

Which part of your resumé represents the biggest change in your career?

"The change from working in Sweden to starting a new job in another country was big – although it was only next door in Denmark. At Nykredit, I started working at a more international company, and at a bank instead of a private smaller fund company.

Another change in my career happened before I started at Nykredit. In 2018, I won the Personality of the Year award, a prize I received from Investment Europe. The award made a huge difference as it meant I got access to international market players I didn’t really have access to before."

What's the most important skill or experience from your former job that is applicable to your next staff role?

"Nykredit was a really good employer where I learned a lot, especially in the selection area, where Nykredit has a very thorough and well thought-out process.

Furthermore, I learned how to navigate in a larger organization which has been a good takeaway. But one of the most important aspects I got from my time at Nykredit was probably the large network of industry colleagues all over the world and the insights and ideas you get from discussing different investment topics internationally.

I also got some knowledge of the private debt area which I truly enjoyed and hadn’t worked with earlier, so it was all new to me, but I found it very interesting."

Which leader in the business has inspired your career the most?

"I prefer a manager with strong leadership skills. A person who is a leader and not just a manager and who engages with the employees. A person who is part of the team and not just steering the team, and who isn’t just sitting in an ivory tower.

While I was at Nykredit, the Head of Wealth Management, Peter Kjærgaard participated in a trail run with his colleagues. He got quite engaged in the project and ordered Nykredit running outfits for all of the Nykredit Asset Management participants.

I don’t think there are that many high-ranking managers in the asset management industry who would take off their suits, turn up in a running outfit and join their colleagues on a trail run."

What occupies you the most right now?

"There are so many things going on now. First of all, I am looking for an apartment in Munich. Secondly, I am spending most of my time getting acquainted with Munich RE since the insurance business is rather different in terms of investment management.

At the same time, the organization is quite large, and I am trying to get an idea of the organization as well. There is a lot to learn, but so far, I am very impressed by the company. I am surprised that a large company like Munich Re can have such an inspiring and innovative mindset.

I am also pleased about Munich Re’s commitment to ESG and sustainability in their investments. ESG is an important topic and something I feel strongly about.”

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