"With hard work and a willingness to learn, you can go beyond the remit of your degree"

Career path: The newly appointed Head of Nordics at Union Bancaire Privée, Nina Jahanbin, has come a long way since she entered asset management without any industry experience just six years ago.

Head of Nordics at Union Bancaire Privée, Nina Jahanbin | Photo: PR

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

"When I was younger my biggest dream was to become a lawyer. Ally McBeal was very popular when I was growing up, which might have something to do with it. So, when the time came to decide what to study at university the choice was clear: I went to law school and actually have a degree in international law.

It wasn’t until I started the course that I realized that studying law and actually practicing it are two completely different things! I nevertheless finished my course and went on to use many of the transferable skills such as drafting and how to properly construct arguments and ethics in my jobs."

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

"The law degree has certainly equipped me with some very valuable transferable skills such as attention to detail, drafting and communication skills. Being able to succinctly communicate what you need is a vital skill, especially when working in a global business."

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

"As I graduated in the aftermath of the financial crisis, many of the law firms that I applied to were running smaller intakes for the training contract and some had completely cancelled their intakes, so this  propelled me to look at alternative careers.

In 2012 I got the opportunity to start working for an American software company after finishing my degree as a regional sales manager, and that is how I got into the world of sales.

After 2.5 years I decided to take the step from IT sales to asset management, so I guess that is the biggest change in my career as I had no asset management experience when I joined my first AM job. I think that smart firms recognize that if you have the right skills and mindset you can be successful even if you do not have a financial degree as such.

Today I am the Head of Sales for the Nordic region for Union Bancaire Privee (UBP) and I think that proves that with hard work and the right attitude as well as a willingness to learn you can go beyond the remit of your degree."

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

"I was very lucky because my first boss when I started working in the software industry really enabled me to develop my confidence when speaking to clients. He allowed me to take the lead and structure meetings in my own way and taught me a lot of valuable skills I keep with me today. I think a good manager trusts that his employees can represent the firm and do the job without the constant need for pulling rank or micromanaging."

What occupies you the most right now?

"Right now I am settling into my new role as the Head of Sales for the Nordics at UBP and I’m spending my time getting to know the business and the clients the bank currently has in the region. 

We have a pipeline of opportunities in emerging markets debt, global fixed income and alternatives that I need to pick up and bring to fruition.”

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