Since the end of last year, Pontus Ljungh has been responsible for Cash Management Corporates Sales at Deutsche Bank in the Nordics. Prior to embarking on this role he spent 10 years in Frankfurt with Deutsche Bank within Product Management, responsible for the global EDI platform, and was involved in several large sales projects. As the EuroFinance Cash and Treasury Management Conference moves to Copenhagen, Denmark this year, we talk to Pontus about his role in the Nordics and Deutsche Bank’s regional strategy.
What prompted the move to Sweden?
Companies in the Nordic region, some of the world’s largest players, have significant transaction banking needs and consequently, this is an important area for development for Deutsche Bank. Three years ago, Deutsche Bank started building up its transaction banking team locally and during this time, has made considerable progress with large corporates mandating us with cash management deals. We are continuing to increase our on-the-ground presence every year. I was delighted to become involved in the Nordic business for Deutsche Bank, combining my knowledge of the bank, and our products and services, with my Nordic background.
What benefits do you think having a local office has had for your Nordic customers?
Deutsche Bank Stockholm employs local people with specific regional expertise, who are close to customers and can therefore take a more hands-on approach to understanding customer issues and developing solutions. The clients have responded well to Deutsche Bank’s build-up of the local organisation. We have dedicated resources across sales, support, implementation and relationship management, providing local language services. The customers we work with here frequently require pan-European or global solutions, so we take advantage of Deutsche Bank’s geographic reach and product depth to construct and deliver appropriate solutions, with the advantage that these can be co-ordinated through the office here in Stockholm.
Nordic companies are amongst the most sophisticated organisations in the world, with demanding cash management needs across the globe. This is generally outside the scope of the regional banks, so we position ourselves as a provider that can help these customers to achieve their cash management requirements outside the region. The need to be close to the customer’s decision centre is key and thus the decision to extend the team locally. I would also like to stress the importance and strength of the Nordic co-operation between all areas of Deutsche Bank when working with clients in order to optimise the overall relationship.
How do you help clients to achieve their global cash management objectives?
In many ways, we act as our customers’ ‘eyes and ears’ in the countries where they operate. We act as local advisers but tap into a wealth of resource and knowledge across the Deutsche Bank network, with the help of local specialists from the Sales, Implementation and Customer Support organisation. We act as a thought leader and help to devise solutions that satisfy head office requirements, such as setting up shared service centres, or extending solutions to, for example, Asia whilst working in conjunction with the local needs of the business and the regulatory environment.
We also act as an information provider and arrange, e.g., ‘Meet the Expert’ sessions in the Nordics based on the challenges and needs of our corporate customers. Large Nordic corporates have a high level of centralisation with the global decision making mandate and that is why we see strong demand for information about other regions such as US and Asia.