Skip to content

Welcome to our new website

Ronny V1

Ronny Ruohomaa has joined Evli as a director with the International Business Development team. What has he learned from 30 years in domestic and international institutional sales and what will he bring to the role?

You’re going to laugh, but it was the film Wall Street that influenced me to pursue this career,” confides Ronny Ruohomaa with a smile. “Financial economics was becoming of particular interest for me in the mid-80s and it also coincided with the boom in stock prices, securities and financial markets – together with Michael Douglas… that did it for me.

After graduating from business school and university in the early-90s, he entered a job market choked by recession. However, a stroke of good luck saw him taken on as a trainee by a small Swedish firm working out of Finland and, after just a few months, he was hired permanently as a Finnish equity research analyst.

It was a great place to learn about how the financial markets work internationally and the timing also coincided with when all Finnish securities were made fully available for international ownership, leading to an influx of foreign investment. After a couple of years, my boss wanted me to go to London for a month to get a feel for the international scene and pace… I ended up staying for 14 years,” he laughs.

His time in the UK included eight years with Deutsche Bank where he got his first taste of sales, but his homeland eventually came calling. “I moved back to Finland with my family in 2008, six months before the great financial crisis, and that was when I moved from the market side of the business to the asset management side. The client segments changed from pan-European and the UK to Finnish and Nordic, but I’ve gone back towards Europe again over the past few years.

Hit the ground running

Evli has always been on my radar. In the mid-90s, they were the main competitors to where I was working, so our paths often crossed. I knew people from Evli and some of them are still here,” says Ruohomaa. From afar, he’s watched with interest as Evli has continually developed and is now Finland’s largest independent asset manager, as well as a Nordic investment specialist with sales in 15 countries.

After many years of on-off talks and staying in touch, the pieces finally fell into place and he became part of the Evli team in June 2022. “I’ve hit the ground running and already feel as though concrete contributions have been made in terms of sales, which is always a concern for a salesperson. I thought, ‘I’ll give it six months and ramp up,’ but it’s happened in weeks. I’m not flying yet, but it’s well underway."

The positive start is ascribed to the fact that Ruohomaa is surrounded by like-minded colleagues whom he has either known for a long time or worked with before: “I trust them, share their values and know how they work. I don’t need to worry about fitting into the culture. Together, this naturally brings out your confidence, infuses you with energy and releases your creativity.

Unlike larger banking organisations where roles are clearly defined and you’re expected to stay in your lane, he says that’s not the case with Evli: “On the contrary, I’ll just get involved in whatever I should and feel like, in good and bad. After just several weeks, I can see our team roles are very wide but we are working very well together.

Creating value from square one

Over the past three decades, Ruohomaa has seen pure salesmanship realised in many ways, but he believes that what sets the best apart is passion, energy and regularly creating value from afresh each time. “What I’m hoping to accentuate among the team is finding those right venues, the right clients and the right prospects within the segments in which we work. There’ll be no lack of ambitious plans, but there’ll be a lack of hours and, ultimately, years.

One other objective the firm’s newest director with the International Business Development team will have to sustain is the highest institutional client satisfaction score that Evli has enjoyed for the last 10 years in Finland. “What motivates me is finding ways to keep clients happy and feeling good, as well as to keep them wanting to talk to us and wanting to be significant partners of ours until the end of time.

Since none of those are a given and it’s a hugely competitive industry, Ruohomaa emphasises that you’ve got to be on your toes and rise to the challenge daily: “Even if you prove yourself once, you’re only as good as your last trade, so you’ve got to do it again and again and again. I don’t know whether I was born that way or if it was instilled in me, but making that trade feels equally good each time.

Looking forward, Ruohomaa is confident that the future is strong for Evli: “We may be boutique, but our reach is so much farther than you’d think and our ability to service our network is far better than the prospective market realises. There is a capacity for so much more, so don’t be surprised if we pop up a lot more.

You might also be interested in