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Jeppe is new on the board: "Flexibility and trust are beneficial for everyone"

At the age of 33, Jeppe Lermark Pieszak is Finansforbundet in Nordea's youngest board member. Ever since he was achild, he has learned the importance of being able to argue for your views and have something to negotiate with. Now he is ready to go all in on the union board for the benefit of the members

26. Oct 2023
6 min
English / Dansk

"Where there is flexibility and trust, employees thrive. This leads to good results to the delight of both the employees and the company.”

33-year-old Jeppe Lermark Pieszak is clear when it comes to the benefits of greater flexibility, and it was confirmed at his previous workplaces where trust has been present.

Jeppe Lermark Pieszak has just stepped in to Finansforbundet in Nordea's (FiN) board, after FiN’s previous president Dorrit Brandt was elected as president of Finansforbundet at the end of September.

Youngest board member

At 33, Jeppe is the youngest board member in FiN.

"I grew up with a father who was active politically as well as union-related, but I meet many young people who do not feel that the trade union is relevant to them. But it is relevant for everyone. Partly as a safety net if you get into trouble and need legal advice, partly as a career ladder if you e.g. want help to develop, want to network with others in the sector or want to stand stronger in a salary negotiation.”

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Jeppe finds that many young people are quicker to opt in and out of communities compared to before.

"There are so many offers that strict prioritization of one's own time is a necessity."

Project about young customers

Despite his young age, it has been nine years since Jeppe started at Nordea - as a financial economist and trainee in the service branch in Nykøbing Falster.

After a short time in the personal customer department in Nykøbing F, Jeppe was assigned to a project about the bank's young customers in Ringsted, which was among the bank's first experiments with e-branches. He then joined the business department in Nykøbing F, and in 2016 he helped starting up a new concept at Vesterport in Copenhagen with e-branches for Nordea's small businesses in "Erhverv og Privat" (later Business Banking Direct). Since 2017, he has been an account manager and KYC Specialist (Know Your Customer) at Vesterport for major business customers, Client Executives

Good at immersing oneself in agreements and maternity rules

It has always been on Jeppe's mind to help his colleagues to guide themselves to the right place. The first departments he was in, however, already had a trade union representative, so he did not run for office there. But since 2018, Jeppe has been a union representative - and for three years also a senior union representative.

"As a union representative, you gain many new and exciting insights. I have always had a flair for what is right and wrong. As the colleagues' mouthpiece, I have made a point of having a good dialogue with the local management and drawing attention to if something is not working as intended. I am also good at delving into agreements or legal documents and finding arguments and terms in favour of the member, e.g. when it came to maternity and holiday rules.”

Ready to go all-in

For the past few years, Jeppe has been dreaming of taking it a step further and going all-in on the union work.

"I ran at FiN's Annual General Meeting in 2022. Originally, it was my plan to run for the board, but when my father died shortly before, I settled for running for the deputy position. At the Annual General Meeting this spring, we were in the middle of a major renovation of our new home, but we got well in place this summer, so now I'm all set."

The house Jeppe refers to is the childhood home in Bovense between Nyborg and Kerteminde in Funen, where Jeppe has moved in with his wife Josefine and their children Karl, aged 3½, and Ingrid, almost two, after the death of his father.

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"From a very young age, I learned that you must be able to argue for your views and have something to negotiate with - even if it was 'just' about e.g. Advent gifts. I would have enjoyed being able to share with my father that I have become active in the trade union," he says, reflecting on the fact that his family's move from Copenhagen to Funen has been made possible as a result of the increased flexibility brought along by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's perfectly fine to commute the long way three days a week, but every day would be over the top."

The train ride is a free space

Jeppe makes the trip between his home on Funen and work in Zealand by train.

"The train ride is a free space that makes everyday life come together. On the train, I can read up for meetings I have to attend, watch a good series or just take a nap.”

In his scarce spare time, Jeppe plays badminton with his brother, and he also loves board games. In the past, he used to take trips with his friends on motorbikes, but he expects that it will be a while before there is time for that again. For now, the focus is fully on the union work for the benefit of the members.

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