Q & A with Marcus Bokermann - Energy Traders Europe Board Member

Traders Talking

Traders Talking - Q & A with Marcus Bokermann - Energy Traders Europe Board Member simple text imageTraders Talking - Q & A with Marcus Bokermann - Energy Traders Europe Board Member simple text image
What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in energy trading?

It was towards the end of my energy engineering studies when the energy market started to liberalise. Although I liked engineering, suddenly I was much more intrigued by the opportunities provided by the transformation of the energy sector combined with a dynamic commercial trading environment.

What aspects of energy trading particularly appeal to you?

It’s a combination of many things: dynamic, ever-changing business, constant learning, smart, driven & dedicated people and not least the importance for society to deliver the energy transition to fight climate change as efficiently & effectively as possible.

What surprised you most when you entered energy trading?

Even as a newbie, colleagues, clients, and counterparts listened to your ideas, discussions started on a level playing field and hierarchies weren’t of importance as everything was new to everyone. Something that I really enjoyed and that still is important to me today as it adds significant value.

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

Before I eventually started my career in energy trading, I seriously considered diverging professions ranging from applying to drama school to becoming a physician – however, as a twist of fate I ended-up where I am now. I’m very happy about that!

If you could remove one word from the dictionary, what would it be?

None, as we need controversy to develop. Just removing a word doesn’t mean that you remove a thought – and as such I like to have topics verbalised to be able to argue.

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

To make the transition as efficient as possible to ensure least cost for society. Otherwise, we risk jeopardising Europe’s competitiveness and a just transition.

What’s your favourite movie?

Too difficult to make a choice – I like a wide range, just to name some of my favourites: Pulp Fiction, Intouchables, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Once upon a time in the West, Das Boot, Parasite, Alien and many more…

As a board member, what key responsibilities do you hold to effectively contribute to the association's success?

I started as part of the Finance Committee and oversaw the successful sale of EFETNet back in the days. Then, while being the Chair of the Oversight Committee, I played a role in recruiting a new CEO for Energy Traders Europe. Finally, I had the honour to serve as Chair of the Board with particular focus on accomplishing the “fit for future” transition of Energy Traders Europe- forming a good team with Mark.

What do you bring to the Board?

A few years of experience in the energy trading industry paired with being pragmatic, outspoken, solution oriented and able to push for a decision when needed.

What made you want to be an Energy Traders Europe Board member?

As energy (trading) is very important to me and society as such – at least that is my belief - I wanted to contribute more, looking for another lever next to my role at Vattenfall.

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

Salciccia, peppers, onions, parma ham, rocket, parmesan

What principles and ethical considerations guide your approach to board responsibilities and decision-making?

Listening, applying common sense while having the big picture in mind

If you could only utilise one emoji for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?

😉 as life is easier if you take it with a wink

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

Spending time with my family and walking our little dog more often.

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

In this case I would love to spend my days in the field, but if there is no way out, I’d prefer to be deep-fried than slowly cooked.

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

Relentless intellectual curiosity, active communication to challenge my and others views by asking a lot of questions… and the ability to listen.

What are some of your favourite hobbies or activities to unwind and relax?

Tennis, cooking and spending time with family and friends

How has the evolving energy landscape, including the transition to renewables and geopolitical tensions, impacted the European energy market?

It has simply become more complex with globalisation and its interdependencies, greater weather sensitivity, faster changing trends, and volatility. But most important the European energy market has stood the test of time – even during the severe crisis we recently faced the market proved to be resilient and pivotal to overcome those challenges effectively.

How do you see the future of the European energy market, and what potential challenges and opportunities do you anticipate?

The biggest challenge is obviously to tackle climate change by accomplishing the energy transition sooner rather than later while ensuring security of supply and European competitiveness at the same time. We as Traders need to better communicate the benefits and merits markets may play in that context. Concerns need to be taken seriously to build trust among all stakeholders. If we achieve that, we can facilitate a real change for the better.

Where did you grow up?

In Herford, a mid-size city in East-Westphalia an area of North Rhine-Westphalia, in Germany.

What was your first job?

At the age of fourteen I started work in a greenhouse a couple of days a week after school to finance my teenage life.

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

When I realised that I have a deep interest in people as such – after understanding who I am and what is driving me, I wanted to understand what is driving others. I enjoy supporting and seeing others develop and experiencing the impact teamwork can make. Last but not least, to treat others like I would like to be treated. Concerning decision-making and execution a healthy risk appetite and living up to: “do what I say and say what I do.”