Sergejs Raščevskis, a business loan specialist in Latvia, joined Holm a year ago. His first year with the company has provided him with opportunities for development and left him delighted at his results and at being part of such a well-oiled team.
A year of giant leaps in a profession he loves
“I’ve worked in a number of companies in the banking sector and what I’ve always enjoyed most about it is working with business clients,” Sergejs reveals. “I like the responsibility that comes with dealing with big sums of money, and that your experience really counts.”
Although the field was already familiar to him when he joined Holm, Sergejs says that working for the company has still challenged him. “I developed our entire procedural chain for the financing of legal entities,” he says. “It was something I was really interested in, and which I knew would be great for my development, because I’d never created a set of procedural rules from scratch before. I’m responsible for the entire chain. I plan every step, confirming them with specialists from various departments. To do that, you not only need to know the area you’re working in like the back of your hand, but you have to have good planning, organisation and communication skills as well.”
Challenges that help a company grow are an important source of motivation for Sergejs. “To me, recognising your own contribution to the company’s growth is a real boost,” he says. “I love forming relationships with clients, both existing and potential ones. It’s really satisfying when you find out they remember you and when, maybe six months after you spoke to them, they themselves get in touch with you to finance the expansion plans for their business.”
Inspired by the synergy between management and workers
Since he has mostly worked in large companies, Sergejs sees clear benefits in smaller operations: first and foremost their flexibility and strong sense of team spirit.
“When I joined Holm I expected there to be a shorter chain of command and a lot more flexibility than in my previous positions, and that’s what it has delivered,” he confirms. “I feel like I’m part of a team here, and that makes the company really strong and really valued. Since the financing of legal entities was only launched in Latvia this year, there’s still a lot for us to do in building up the segment. Our department is growing and has enormous potential. We’re able to be flexible in what we’re offering. We even look at the business plans of companies whose recent results haven’t been all that great. COVID had a huge impact on lots of companies, after all, and as a bank we don’t feel it would be fair to focus solely on figures from last year if the plan we’re presented with has good prospects and the right kind of collateral in place. We have to look at plans analytically and in terms of the bigger picture.”
Another aspect of working for Holm that Sergejs appreciates is the direct communication between its management and staff. “The hierarchy in the bank is entirely horizontal,” he says. “Everyone has the chance to talk directly to management if they need to, and they hear you out and value your input and take it on board. Synergy between management and workers is an asset to any company.”
Sergejs also likes the international nature of Holm, which he says presents both him personally and the bank as a whole with a raft of opportunities. “Being based in different countries isn’t an issue, because we all interact online,” he explains. “That said, it’s great to get together face to face every now and then!”
Walking as meditation
Whereas at work Sergejs enjoys taking on challenges that come with a lot of responsibility, in his free time he unwinds by taking long walks. “I can walk for hours at a time, thinking about whatever pops into my head,” he says. “It’s almost like a form of meditation for me as I mull things over, and I almost always find that by the time I get home I’ve found answers to a whole host of questions that were bubbling away at the back of my mind all day.”
Sergejs also enjoys going to the theatre and concerts with his wife, and is an avid reader: less literature these days and more economics-related non-fiction, given his professional passion. “I guess that shows I’m doing a job I really love!” he smiles.