News – 14.03.2024

Aspirations to become a stockbroker switched to financial law

Aspirations to become a stockbroker switched to financial law

Jouko Markkanen, who grew up in Suolahti, Central Finland, was inspired to study law because he was aiming to become a stockbroker. As back in the day a law degree was a good path to becoming a stockbroker, the young Markkanen applied to study at the Faculty of Law at in Rovaniemi. Markkanen never worked as a stockbroker but has otherwise become familiar with capital markets through various ways.

Alongside his law studies, Markkanen also completed a master’s degree in business at the University of Oulu. An interest towards business studies also led him to North Carolina, the United States of America, where he completed an MBA degree. In addition to the US, he spent part of his studies as an exchange student in both Lund, Sweden and Basel, Switzerland. Studying abroad and getting to know different cultures and ways of working has proven useful also in work life, as the majority of Markkanen’s assignments contain an international connection.

A time of upheavals

As society has grown more complex, the amount of regulation in financial law, as in other areas of law, has increased notably. Moreover, various upheavals around the world have brought their own addition to a lawyer’s daily life: sanctions imposed after the occupation of Crimea, market interest rates going negative, Covid-19 that shook the entire world, as well as the full-scale war Russia waged on Ukraine have all brought their own challenges to financial law.

”As a finance lawyer one has had to learn, that one should always be able to prepare for even the most surprising scenarios”, states Markkanen. For example, loan agreements made no provision for the possibility that the reference rates would become negative and that the interest rate on the whole loan could become negative.

Sustainability plays an increasingly important role in corporate finance

Green financing and sustainability issues have long been a growing trend in the financial world. Financiers, alone and together with borrowers, have had to work hard on incorporating sustainability obligations into their financing arrangements. Despite this, sustainability issues and their incorporation into financing arrangements are still developing.

The new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive for large companies will provide new ways for financiers to monitor the debtor companies’ ESG data and the verification of given information. In future, sustainability information will be published as part of the company’s annual report and financial accounts, and the sustainability report will be certified by an auditor. The goal is to ensure consistent and comparable reporting.

”The new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will likely affect the cost of financing for many companies. Companies will increasingly be assessed not only on financial data but also on sustainability”, ponders Markkanen.

CrossFit energizes

Markkanen, who has already spent over a year at Procopé & Hornborg, emphasizes the importance of meaningful work and the work community for well-being. Outside of work he takes care of his well-being through a variety of hobbies. His tip for young lawyers is to take care of their work-life balance. 

Markkanen himself spends his free time swimming or doing CrossFit – a hobby he started six years ago and which he finds particularly appealing because of its versatility. CrossFit consists of, among others, weightlifting, gymnastics and running – and like the legal profession, the versatile sport also requires technique. ”When I started CrossFit, Olympic lifting movements, that are part of the sport, felt particularly challenging. However, my technique has improved with practice and now they have turned into my favorites”, says Markkanen. He also gives importance to the same perseverance and continuous self-improvement in his work as an attorney-at-law.

Finance

We regularly assist our clients in all finance transactions, including:

  • bilateral and syndicated loans
  • project financing
  • bond issues
  • eurocommercial paper (ECP) and master promissory notes (MTN) programs
  • convertible bonds
  • other hybrid loans and structured finance products
  • private placements
  • group financing.
Lauging man in the balcony Lauging man in the balcony