Meet our Partners: Nordea Private Banking

Nordea Private Banking has been a Star for Life School Partner since 2010 and is one of Star for Life’s more long-term and creative partners. Since the start of the partnership, Nordea Private Banking, in addition to sponsoring a school, have also been actively leading and shaping new projects and concepts, as well as sponsored students with scholarships.
We sat down with Lena Zachrisson, the coordinator for the partnership at Nordea Private Banking.

How did the Nordea Private Banking first get in contact with Star for Life?

We are working to develop tomorrow’s fortunes and one of our most important tasks is to find the products and services that match the individual customer’s needs, in order for them to eventually achieve their personal goals.

We also help our customers with advice on how to best help make a difference in the engaging subjects. For us at Nordea Private Banking it was also an obvious choice to engage in this, to invest with the heart. For us it is important to take a stand, to emphasise the positive forces that exist in society. Making a difference – that’s what it’s about. That’s why we invest in the Star for Life.

Faced with the choice of organisation, we asked our customers to give us their views on what was important. They gave us four pointers – youth, education, health and Africa.

With these words in our mind, we searched for organisations that would fit us as well as with our customers’ requests and found a handful. After evaluations and visits to the different organisations, the choice fell on the Star for Life.

Why did you choose Star for Life over other larger organisations?

We had formulated four requirements for what we wanted the selected organisation to look like and how the cooperation between us would work. The requirements were a small and transparent organisation with low administrative costs where we could clearly see for ourselves as well as show our customers what the money actually goes to. Star for Life could meet all those criteria.

As our offer to our customers is largely experiential, it was a big plus if the cooperation also could lead to more opportunities for new experiences – our fourth requirement. On this requirement Star for Life could more than deliver with concerts in Sweden as well as the opportunity to visit the school and take part in other activities in South Africa. Our sixth trip to South Africa together with our customers was in February 2017.

Nordea Private Banking being a Star for Life-partner is important for the children in the area and at the same time a good deed. But besides that – how does the partnership benefit your staff and your brand?

For Nordea Private Banking Community Engagement is very important and almost goes without saying. Our collaboration with Star for Life has created opportunities for both customers and employees to get involved on many lelevs for the benefit of children of South Africa.

During two full concert tours in Sweden, with 22 concerts in all, we bought tickets and invited all our customers. The reactions after the concerts have been amazing and our customers have several times on own initiative contacted us to thank us and share their appreciation for the value that us supporting with Star for Life gives. The concert itself is a happy pill at the same time as it gave our customers and staff an understanding of what the collaboration means and what it leads to.

In addition to the staff here in Sweden, we have contact with staff on the ground in South Africa, meet them every year, we know the name the coach in our school and every year we get a short film of the children and the environment in the school. It all becomes so close. You can grasp it. The closeness gives a better understanding and a greater personal commitment.

For me the commitment has become very personal. Since 2011 my children have a “brother” in South Africa who we have support by contributing to his studies.

Do you get any feedback showing what the money goes to? What does that feedback look like?

Twice a year we get a report on the activities that the coach made during the year as well as insight into some of the problems that the school’s students are facing. We also get updates on any additional projects that we committed ourselves to during the year, such as scholarships or material donations. In addition, every year get one or two short greetings from the school through images and sometimes even a short film.

How come you stay as School Partners to Star for Life?

From the beginning, we set out to launch a partnership that we knew could be long term. Our cooperation is working well and we feel confident that Star for Life’s work really makes a difference for the students who have the opportunity to participate in the program and comparative studies are made showing that Star for Life students’ behaviour and performance are significantly better than for the comparative schools. That return on investment is so much greater than any monetary currency.

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