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Your network is your net worth

Following a long international career at many locations around the world, Ole Hamre, Head of International Private Wealth Management & Family Office and the head of SEB’s Luxembourg office, shares his thoughts on building a varied and rewarding career at SEB.

Your career path has taken you from Norway to Germany, Luxembourg, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, and now Luxembourg again. Can you tell us about your journey?

My journey has indeed been diverse. I am from Norway, but my international interest took me places very early on. I did my business studies in Germany, specialising in Finance with my diploma thesis on Scandinavian private banking, but also spent time abroad in the U.S. After that, I joined a French bank and became involved in private ownership advisory, wealth and asset management in Luxembourg. After a few years, I got the opportunity to join SEB, which has been rewarding in many ways. It has been a privilege to be able to pursue opportunities in various international locations. Life is a journey, and in many ways all those experiences have developed and prepared me and given me a sound background and adaptability for my current role.

Relocating internationally with a family has not always been easy, the opportunity must feel right for you when making that choice, but for me and my family it has really been a rewarding experience. We have gone through everything together, and it has made us stronger as a family but as well quite adaptable to new situations and tasks.

How important is internal mobility at SEB, and how does it contribute to development?

Internal mobility is crucial for any organisation. By embracing internal mobility, we aim to ensure that our international sites, and for me today Luxembourg in particular, remain an integral part of the SEB group and its strategic journey - and that we foster both personal and organisational development. We need qualified and motivated staff willing to embrace new challenges. Each of our units have distinct needs, and it is essential to have individuals hungry for growth. In today's competitive landscape, attitude often matters more than aptitude. Ask for opportunities, show interest, be committed and then pay it forward when you have the chance. 

Relationships have played a significant role in your career. Can you share your insights on building and leveraging connections at SEB?

Our staff reflect the diversity of Luxembourg as a country, and despite our differences, we do share a common interest in people. Building meaningful connections involves conscious choices—showing interest in people, extending invitations, and being receptive to others. Maintaining a positive, pragmatic, and supportive approach helps create a personal brand. I like to say your network is your net worth, as it often will open doors to various opportunities. Then it is up to you to accept and deliver on those opportunities. 

SEB's culture of organisational adaptability and entrepreneurship aligns perfectly with my career philosophy. Life is a journey, and success is a journey. I encourage a collaborative and less siloed approach, fostering a culture based on mutual respect where we adapt to change proactively and leverage each other’s expertise. We value collective efforts over individual superstars.

What sets SEB apart in Luxembourg, and what is your vision for the future locally?

SEB differentiates itself among our competitors by being the most international bank in the Nordics, committed to long-term presence in Luxembourg. Recently we celebrated 50 years in Luxembourg – that is a milestone that truly shows our commitment. And we are ready to take on the next 50 years too, and beyond. Our vision in the market place starts with our clients. We see their increasingly global mindset and behaviour, and that pushes us to be equally adaptable. Several competitors have exited the Luxembourg market in past years, while we are opening a new office in the city centre, an investment that shows we are dedicated to Luxembourg and our international business - delivering crisp, premium, world-class service and advisory to our target clients in the long term. That mission is driven by our vision to adapt our strategy to reality and to align Luxembourg’s business with the SEB Group’s global ambition.