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Embarking on a digital journey to cater for future growth
Only a third of all strategic initiatives are successfully implemented. This leaves huge untapped potential that can be unleashed by rethinking the way the organisation executes on their plans. Organisations need to adapt to a new approach to ensure their strategy works to enable better choices, higher engagement and a greater impact. However, before embarking on a strategic initiative, one must acknowledge that conducting a strategic transformation is an infinite exercise of keeping up with requirements, assessing and adapting to trends and development, whilst engaging and empowering the employees. Nordea Asset Management set out on a strategic journey with the overarching vision of being ‘Client driven, Investment led and Tech enabled’. This implied investigating how to adopt modern technology principles, reduce dependencies on legacy infrastructure and free up time with employees. This, to enable the organisation to focus on application functionality, utilise cloud-native platforms, exploit elasticity and scalability of cloud computing and make data available in a structured and non-complex manner. Making applications interoperable through a robust IT infrastructure and having data sources integrated and accessible — making the vision of ‘tech enabled’ come true. Nordea Asset Management made the strategic choice of embarking on a digital transformation to accelerate growth and strategically drive the business and the organisation forward. The choice was made after considerable investigations and market research. The key to making the strategic initiative come alive was securing the ownership of the transformation with the business, the business being the driver of customer value and thereby owners of the problem to be solved. This enabled Nordea Assets Management to ensure that the solutions being built were both fit for the customer and the growth of the business, as well as for the future digital services and data solutions. With a well-designed and resilient Technology base, companies can scale efficiently and enable the organisation to deliver even more value to customers, faster, while continuously increasing the experience for employees. Engaging the individuals and igniting the vision for the future is a key trait of an organisation adapting to disruption. And a prerequisite for a successful transformation is the ability to ‘keep the lights on’, having the legacy systems working and maintaining the strong relations, while at the same time bridging the complexity and creating an environment of trust, respect and curiosity to build the future.
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Ulrik Modigh is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) in Nordea Asset Management (NAM) and responsible for Operations & Technology, which is a fully integrated functional organisation ensuring efficiency and scalability in Operations. He has been in the financial industry since 1993, where he was Head of Middle Office in Markets. He continued his journey as a consultant in KPMG, financial services and in 2022 he joined ATP as Head of Back Office. With his extensive experience in the financial industry and his passion for using software to optimise the value chain he rejoined Nordea in 2005 as Head of Operations. The aim was to build a Nordic production engine that could boost NAM's growth journey. In 2019 he also took over Technology as an integrated domain to further strengthen NAM's value chain and leverage on the technological opportunities.