If an investment plan is like a training programme for your investments, your Premium Banker is your personal trainer, guiding you to make successful decisions in managing and increasing your assets. Nordea's Premium Banking service helps you keep your assets in shape, now and long into the future. We took a trip to Vantaa and Vaasa to see some Premium Bankers in action.
You go to the gym or for a run now and then, eat vegetables and take the stairs, but instead of gaining muscle, you mostly gain weight. Sound familiar?
Asset management is a lot like physical exercise: you don't usually see results overnight, you need to plan and work for your goals with a dedicated long-term focus.
Jari Haataja, who acts as Branch Manager in Premium Banking in Vaasa, knows this from first-hand experience.
“It is not enough to occasionally go to the gym and randomly lift some weights. For solid results, it makes sense to employ the services of an expert to guide and support you.”
A partner you know and trust
If you want to make sure that all your sweat and hard work at the gym lead to results, choose your personal trainer carefully. The same can be said for the person you choose to manage your assets. Not only do you need someone reliable, you need someone who will consider your assets from the point of view of your whole lifespan, not just as individual investments.
In Nordea's Premium Banking service, each customer has their own designated Premium Banker, who thoroughly knows the background and needs of the customer or family. Often, the Premium Banker becomes someone the customer feels they know and can trust.
“When I meet up with my customers, we usually pick up the conversation from where we last left off,” says Haataja.
The customer decides how and where to connect with their Premium Banker. Meetings are often held at the branch, but when distance is an issue, an online meeting may be a more convenient option. Some Premium Bankers also travel and meet with customers outside their own area.
Although your Premium Banker is your key point of contact, you can still manage daily banking matters also in Nordea branches, Nordea Customer Service or via our Netbank or Mobile Bank.
Premium Banking customers are also invited to themed events hosted by the bank.
Investment plan: your personal workout programme
Not everyone who works out does so to lose weight or to become a fitness model. Investors can also range from beginners to people with more experience. Thus each workout programme and investment plan must be designed to suit the customer's background and goals.
In Vantaa, typical customers include retired couples with savings accrued over time, according to Maria Metsola, Branch Manager for Premium Banking. There are also younger customers, who may have received an inheritance or succeeded in business. Each customer has their individual needs and goals in terms of managing their assets and thus investment plans are always tailored to suit the customer. Premium Bankers begin by mapping out the customer's current circumstances and needs. They then help the customer to set individual goals, covering factors such as expected level of investment return and willingness to take on risk.
“We then establish the means of achieving the goals and draw up an investment plan,” says Metsola.
To obtain optimal results, it is important to stick to the chosen plan. Although a drop in share prices may cause concern, it is usually best to keep a cool head and not to cash in your investments, but rather to keep an eye on the long-term view.
“Usually, it is wise to stick with the plan and not to react to any market fluctuations. This is a topic we discuss early on when establishing the customer's risk level,” Metsola says.
Comprehensive management of assets or investor sparring
Some people need hands-on personal training, while others only need to check in with their trainer occasionally. The same is true for managing assets.
Customers who are not interested in actively taking part in investment decisions may leave most of their asset management to their Premium Banker, who will manage the assets in accordance with the investment plan drawn together with the customer. The Premium Banker will also ensure the investment plan is up-to-date and that the weights of different asset classes in the portfolio suit the customer. The banker will also regularly discuss with the customer recent market events and their impact on the customer.
For the more experienced investors, Premium Bankers can act as sparring partners, offering advice to the customer, who will then make the final decisions independently. Active customers who operate independently will benefit the most from utilising Nordea Investor and the market data and equity analyses provided by the bank.
Looking at the big picture
A physical workout programme may not always be enough, which is why a good personal trainer will also take into account factors such as the customer's diet.
A good asset manager, in turn, must take into account not only the customer's investments but also their overall assets, such as real estate, investment properties and forest assets. In Nordea's Wealth 360 service, the Premium Banker will map out the customer's overall situation, after which the bank's lawyers provide their input. The service considers the entire lifespan and assets of the customer, including factors such as insurance, loans, retirement, and plans for inheritance. Unforeseen risks should also be taken into account. For example, personal life cover will help in the case of an emergency, serious illness or accident, while a power of attorney for guardianship drawn by a lawyer helps to prepare for a situation where you no longer can manage your own affairs.
Metsola notes that many customers appreciate the legal services provided by the bank. Premium Banking brings added value to its customers by also taking care of legal matters such as wills and guardianship authorisations.
“Customers often say they are wary of seeking legal professionals online, as there are risks related to quality, skills as well as pricing.”
Customer satisfaction as main goal
To be able to help their customers, personal trainers must constantly learn and evolve. Nordea provides extensive training to its Premium Bankers to ensure the best possible customer service. Premium Bankers must be able to map out the needs of their customers, listen, meet expectations, and maintain their own expertise.
“Premium Bankers need to keep themselves updated on what is happening in the markets and around them,” notes Haataja.
By asking the right questions, Premium Bankers can provoke customers to think of ways of doing things differently, and indeed, better. For example, planning for the transfer of property to heirs may result in the transfer being carried out in advance.
In the end, both premium bankers and personal trainers have one simple goal: a satisfied customer, whose needs are met and expectations exceeded.
“Our goal is to have the customer leave a meeting with their Premium Banker with a sense of 'wow'!” says Haataja.