A SimCorp’er on the move

Hotel rooms and airports are just another day at the office. When you work in a global software company like SimCorp there are a lot of opportunities for the adventurous type. Björn Schumburg is such a type. For the past 12 years, he has been on the move as a SimCorp employee – with a base in three different countries, he has covered a lot of ground – or air – visiting clients every week.

The journey began in Bad Homburg, Germany
Björn began his career at SimCorp in Bad Homburg, Germany, right after university: “I remember seeing a good old-fashioned job ad in the newspaper; and via this very old fashioned way, I applied for the job, and that is how I ended up at SimCorp. I started out in Customer Service, where I worked as part of the Key Account Management function and got to learn about the client’s challenges and business situations. I was here for the next 2.5 years until I heard about an opening in Finland.”

Commuting from Stockholm to Helsinki
Björn was offered to be part of Nordic Consulting and a team of consultants that was given the task of opening up the Helsinki office and start addressing the Finish market for investment management. This was where Björn got his first real taste of working on the go: “In the beginning the office in Helsinki was a subsidiary to Stockholm, so we were commuting between Finland and Stockholm quite a bit. And as we were part of the Nordic Consulting Organization, we were basically covering all of Northern Europe visiting and dealing with clients, plus on occasion also supporting the business in Central Europe.”

Setting up shop in Toronto
In 2010, Björn once again made use of his entrepreneurial spirit – this time to help set up an office in Toronto as part of the North American organization. His name was on SimCorp’s global mobility list, which meant that he was globally available and open for new opportunities: “After working as a satellite employee on projects throughout Europe for a couple of years, I joined the Toronto office as employee number 2 and since the first one is no longer here, I am today the SimCorp’er with most seniority in Canada. Here I am on an exciting journey to introduce Dimension to the Canadian and North American market.”

 Bjorn Schumburg 
I have the best of two worlds - a dynamic corporate culture in a key market with exciting customers, and a flat organizational culture with a great balance of freedom and a high-level responsibility. Björn Schumburg, Senior Manager, Presales, SimCorp North America

New countries and changing career paths
Besides changing locations and getting new colleagues from different countries and backgrounds, Björn has also been on a dynamic career path. At some points in his career, he has been very deeply involved with the product, SimCorp Dimension, at other points he has been more closely engaged with the client: “In the beginning of my career in Customer Service, I had a lot of hands-on experience with SimCorp Dimension. When moving to North America this continued with a lot of add-on implementation tasks in the beginning. The operational experience is very useful for me today, when I meet with clients in my presales role. I can easily relate to their situation and their issues at each level, which qualifies our meetings right from the onset.”

A long and steady learning curve
Working in different countries and meeting many different types of clients has taught Björn a lot. Although it is geographically close, working with clients in Stockholm is very different from Helsinki, and although it is the same country, Alabama is nothing like Boston: “I think soaking up all these many differences has given me a good deal of cultural awareness and taught me to spend a bit of time getting a sense of new people in new situations rather than pushing forward with my pitch or my ideas based on assumptions. Consulting a pension fund requires something other than an asset manager and on top of this, in this environment, you always need to take cultural differences, the size of the company and the changing market conditions into account.”

What’s next?
Now Björn’s career has taken him to a role as Senior Manager for a team of presales consultants in North America. Björn has spent the past seven years in Canada, and here he is laying down his hat for the time being: “Yes, I will say I am prepared to be a little more settled in my work life now. I still travel a lot here in Canada and in the US, but I am not looking to take on a new country any time soon. I feel very privileged and lucky to have met and worked with so many different cultures and it has taught me a lot. Now, I am motivated to stay here and explore the many great opportunities we have in this market – we are just getting started.”