Q & A with Luka Jazbec (GEN-I) - Energy Traders Europe Board Vice-Chair

Traders Talking

Traders Talking - Q & A with Luka Jazbec (GEN-I) - Energy Traders Europe Board Vice-Chair simple text imageTraders Talking - Q & A with Luka Jazbec (GEN-I) - Energy Traders Europe Board Vice-Chair simple text image
What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in energy trading?

I've been passionate, thanks to Captain Planet and the Planeteers who kept me glued to the tv screen as a child, about environmentalism and decarbonisation since childhood, particularly solar energy. My university education deepened my interest, leading to an understanding of how energy trading optimises energy fundamentals and ensures efficient energy distribution. This aspect of energy trading is essential for decarbonisation and is a field where success is achieved through capability and vision. I am also drawn to the flexibility and inherent curiosity of energy traders, who work together to overcome challenges.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise most people who know you.

That I am not, in fact, the frighteningly demanding perfectionist that I sometimes present myself as, but actually an incredibly easy-going person – once some basic minimum standards are fulfilled…

How do you align your trading practices with the growing emphasis on ESG principles?

ESG principles have been warmly embraced at GEN-I and as their ESG Coordinator, it is something I champion in my daily work life. ESG principles provide a structured framework to implement sustainability in a standardised and comparable way. We should see ESG principles not just as regulatory requirements but as opportunities to integrate sustainability into our operations seamlessly.

What role do you envision energy traders playing in driving the transition to a more sustainable energy future?

I believe energy traders play a vital role in driving the transition to a sustainable future and ensuring energy security. They help to integrate renewables, manage market risks, and provide liquidity for the energy sector.

If you could have dinner with one historical figure, who would it be?

I'd not choose a single historical figure – but I'd be curious, for example, what kind of conversations would arise at a dinner with Maximilien Robespierre and Otto von Bismarck.

What do you bring to the Board?

I bring a multidisciplinary perspective to energy policy with a deep understanding of cultural differences and how to address them (by looking for similarities!) and strive to combine top-down and bottom-up approaches to find creative solutions and make strategic decisions.

How do your personal values and beliefs align with Energy Traders Europe’s values?

Energy Traders Europe's 25th anniversary serves as a reminder of the organisation's meritocratic commitment to empowering individuals with good ideas to improve wholesale energy trading in Europe. This principle resonates with my own personal values and beliefs, advocating for its application both professionally and personally.

Which book would you choose to read for the first time again, and what makes it so captivating?

'The Dark Forest', the second title in Liu Cixin's 'Three-Body Problem trilogy' of books... the scale, scope and complexity imagined is fantastic, as the persistence of the human spirit is inspiring. Although on that latter note, I can't go without mentioning the Count of Monte Cristo.

If you had an extra hour per day, what would you do?

Probably more of what I do already. 

If you were a potato, how would you like to be cooked?

I'd choose 'pražen krompir' an incredibly tasty traditional Slovenian dish consisting of sautéed potatoes and onions – although words can't really do it justice.

pražen krompir
How do you stay abreast of the latest industry trends, developments, and market dynamics to ensure informed decision-making?

Having regular discussions with colleagues, whether in the team I lead, the company I work in, or at industry-level. Regular discussions with colleagues and industry experts are essential to filter out noise and make informed decisions. It's through conversations and communication that I gain clarity on what's truly meaningful and where to take action.

What are your strategies for effectively managing stress and maintaining a balanced life amidst demanding responsibilities?

Knowing when to leave my phone in a different room, and knowing when even that isn't enough and only a long walk in nature (while leaving the phone at home) will do.

What major trends are shaping the European energy sector in 2024, and how are these trends influencing trading strategies?

Ensuring temporary application of emergency interventions and ongoing market reforms have strengthened European market integration, so reversing course would be unwise. I would hope that the upcoming elections will provide a clear indication of the future direction of European energy policy – and that this will continue building on and improving what we have co-created in the last two decades. 

Where did you grow up?

My family moved around a lot, and I grew up in Slovenia, Austria and Sweden. My upbringing in multiple European countries have shaped my worldview and led me to believe that a curious mind and an open heart are essential for continuous learning and growth. I am grateful to have learned from my experiences across Europe to help my team navigate the world.

What personal experiences or lessons have shaped your approach to leadership and decision-making?

Reactive and fear-driven decisions often backfire, while leadership based on control is ineffective. Effective leadership requires courage, prudence, effort, competence, and faith in team members.

Can you give us a peek into what’s on your bucket list?

While a bucket list can be helpful, it's more important to live life fully and let it naturally generate experiences worth pursuing.