Zac Edstrom is the Portfolio Director at ACES’ North Regional Trading Center (RTC) in Maple Grove Minnesota. Zac has been with ACES for four years, and has had a successful career in the energy industry. Shortly after graduating from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science in business, with an emphasis on marketing, Zac was hired by NRG Energy (NRG) on their hourly desk. “I had a friend who worked at NRG and thought it sounded interesting. They hired me for an opening on their hourly desk and I’ve been in the energy industry ever since,” Zac recalls.
While at NRG, Zac also managed the hourly desk and did term trading for several portfolios. After several years with NRG, Zac took a job with Cargill where here traded financial power speculatively for nearly ten years. One of Zac’s former co-workers at Cargill contacted him about an open position at ACES, and he was hired as Manager of Trading, and was promoted to Portfolio Director shortly after. “Moving from a speculative trading environment to more of a risk management environment was refreshing,” Zac says. “I really appreciate the mindset of making decisions to better the lives of your customers rather than just for your own benefit,” he adds.
As Portfolio Director, Zac holds the senior position at the North RTC and all term and hourly traders report to him. He oversees trading operations, and provides guidance on portfolio decisions. “Our office is pretty unique in that we are about half of the size of ACES’ other remote RTCs,” says Zac. “Under normal conditions we only have about seven people in the office,” he adds. Zac hopes he can help grow the North RTC and allow it to have a larger trading presence. “It was a big adjustment coming from a large trade floor with around 300 people to a small office. I would really like to see our office
expand. When you have more people, you tend to create economies of scale and have a broader range of perspectives you can leverage,” Zac says. “I encourage all employees in our office and other RTCs to get out and interact with people at the other offices, when possible. More interaction with more people helps you learn new things and improve your work. We all need to remember that we have more than a handful of coworkers, we have hundreds,” he adds.
When asked what has helped Zac be successful in the energry, he offered the following: “The best thing you can do for yourself from a growth perspective is to get to the root of problems. Some people just want to be told the answers to their issues, but understanding problems from the ground up and learning how and why things work will position you to make better decisions and guide others.” Zac’s coaching and mentoring continues outside the office. Zac and his wife have three children who are all very active in sports, such as hockey, baseball, football, soccer, and figure skating. Zac spends a lot of his time coaching his children’s sports teams. “I’ve been coaching my son in hockey since he was four and just learning to skate. I can’t keep up with the kids in hockey like I used to, but I still coach their football and baseball teams. I love sports in general and coaching the kids’ teams is really fun and rewarding,” Zac says. Zac also recently built an ice rink in his backyard for his family to use in the winter months.
Zac’s commitment to helping others succeed is just one of the traits that make him an ideal fit for ACES.