Ulla-Maija Rantapuska, Investment Manager
”Even if studying political science was interesting, I somehow felt that the theories of democracy were not all I needed to make the world a better place. I needed tools to help make the change happen. That was why I got another degree in finance. Already as a student, I considered Finnfund as a future employer where I could combine my interests. After graduating, I started working in consultancy and moved on to UNDP – a job that took me to both Kosovo and New York for several years. Back in Finland, I started as an Investment Analyst at Finnfund.
In our investments, we look at environmental and social responsibility, measurable development impact and profitability. Each of these three criteria is assessed by a dedicated team of professionals and as an Investment Analyst, my job was to look at the profitability of each project. I got to dig deep into different companies, industries and countries which has definitely been useful also in my current position as an Investment Manager. Today, I’m leading the project team throughout the entire investment cycle and one of my responsibilities is to see that all these three criteria are in balance.
I got to work at the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO in Netherlands for a year through our secondment program. Financial institutions is one of Finnfund’s key sectors and I wanted to learn more about it, and FMO is a very big and appreciated investor in this field. I’m very grateful that Finnfund offers this kind of possibilities and that I have been able to advance my career at Finnfund.
Somehow the circle has closed, because I started my career working closely with banks and insurance companies. At Finnfund, I have been able to expand the scope of our financial institutions team into insurance companies by completing our first investment in that sector. It’s been both interesting and motivating to bring in a totally new business into our investing process and I believe that strengthening the insurance coverage in developing countries is an important goal.
It’s been great to see how impact investing is slowly becoming mainstream. Finnfund has been in this business for 40 years and I’m proud to do my part in building a more sustainable world.”