Today we sat down with our Group Financial Controller, Loredana Istrate, to learn more about her.

1) What do you do as a Financial Controller? What are your main tasks?

As a Financial Controller, I work closely with the Directors and the owners of the company. I am responsible for financial and management reporting, ensuring compliance with accounting standards, legislation and policies of the group. It is a complex work position. My key tasks also include dealing with financial controls and operating procedures, improving business processes and efficiencies, budgeting, profitability and cash flow forecasting.

2) Which do you think are the most challenging aspects of your job? What do you enjoy most of it?

Our company is international, we have many offices across the world and therefore we have to be able to connect all of them. So I guess the most challenging aspect of my job is that I have to ‘put everything together’.

Nevertheless, I have to recognize that this is also the most enjoyable part of it. Getting a hands-on experience within a multinational business is a great asset and I am thankful for that.

3) What was your previous working experience? What made you choose Swedbrand among other companies?

I worked in the same position I am working now for many years, back in Romania. In China, before Swedbrand, my job was mainly related to external projects in Europe and Australia.

I chose Swedbrand because of the company’s international profile and also because I thought it could represent a great opportunity for me to fully use my background and skills.

When I first met with Magda (Swedbrand’s former Group Financial Controller) for the interview, I immediately liked the environment and felt that there was a connection with her and the Company. My good feelings were later confirmed at the final interview with Chris (one of the two Founders of the Company), and now I am happy to be surrounded by very nice ‘Swedbranders’.

4) Why did you decide to move to China? Tell us more about it…

Since travelling is one of my passions, I first came to China as a tourist; I was doing a trip across Asia for a couple of weeks.

At the beginning I thought I could never live there, China is too different from Europe! But the most unexpected things can happen and since my sister had already been living in Shanghai, I decided to join her for a couple of months… A couple of months that turned into three years already!

5) What are your main hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Together with the pleasure of discovering new places, I enjoy dancing; especially salsa classes! It really helps you switch off your brain and disconnect from reality. The best part of doing it in a city like Shanghai is that you constantly meet people from every corner of the world.

I also like reading and driving.

6) What do you miss the most about your home country? Are you planning to move back one day?

What I miss the most is my family and friends… and food, of course!

My hometown, Ploiesti, is a well-positioned city, one hour from Bucharest and close to both the mountains and the sea. I used to spend my weekends at the beach during summer and at the mountains skiing during winter. Here in China it is impossible to find such a varied landscape unless you take the plane.

But there are also many good aspects related to living in China, and in Shanghai especially. I am in love with this city! It gives you everything: safety, fun and culture! I am happy here and I feel blessed: I am having such an incredible experience!

Romania will always be home to me, although I am not able to tell you now when I will be back. It depends on where life takes you. You never know what is going to happen… Life is so unpredictable!