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Jari Matero, Associate Director, Head of Agri and Forestry portfolio

“I studied industrial engineering and management in Oulu and started my career in the manufacturing industry. At the turn of the millennium, I ended up in India through my employer’s trainee program. There I really understood what extreme poverty means. During the first nights, I could not even sleep as I was so upset about what I saw.

Later, I studied finance and economics in London. I got to know people from all over the world and became interested in an international career. By chance, I stumbled across Finnfund as I returned to Finland. I realised I had found my dream job, one that combines internationality, operations in developing countries and the financial sector. At first, there were no suitable vacancies, but later, I got lucky and started as an Investment Analyst in 2006. I changed to the position of Investment Manager in 2009. I still think that I am in my dream job.

As Investment Manager, I work as a kind of a project manager in the financial transactions. It’s important to be proactive, analytical and objective in this work. It’s also pivotal to assume ownership. Finance is based on interpersonal transactions and mutual trust, and you need to have human skills and social intelligence.

The target countries are all different, and each project is unique, which means constant learning. All transactions are linked by their impact: in addition to financial returns, we require them to have positive developmental effects. When one visits our target countries, one understands the challenges which our transactions are solving.

Finnfund is a truly unique workplace in Finland. I do not think that you can get as comprehensive financial experience in any other financial workplace as in here.”