In March, Magnus Karlberg joined FCG as new CFO of the FCG Group. We sat down with Magnus to get to know him better, what he brings to the table and what can be expected from the new Wallet. But first, Magnus, a warm welcome to FCG!
Thank you very much, really excited to be here!
So, who are you and how did you end up here at FCG?
Well, to make a long story slightly shorter – I graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics with a degree in economics and jumped straight into financial analysis at Investor back in 2000. During my 15 years at Investor, I got caught up in the very interesting work of valuating and analyzing potential investments. At first, there was a more outspoken focus on business strategy and analyzing the stock market, but the financial crisis of 2007-2008 changed things fundamentally. The perspective transitioned into focusing a lot more on the potential investments’ risk awareness, level of compliance and overall governance. Board members increased their focus on these matters, and the climate put a lot more pressure on companies to stay compliant. This really impacted my view on sustainable investments and would later prove to be parts of what attracted me to FCG.
In 2015, I wanted to dive deeper into a more operative role, and entered the Grand Group (with hotels such as Grand Hotel, Lydmar and the newly opened Sparrow in Stockholm) as CFO. This experience has been truly instructive and stimulating, and I was given the opportunity of combining my experience in financial analysis with the challenges of hands on strategic matters, as well as communicating strategy and business development to the organization. We spent a lot of time restructuring the reporting and analysis during my time there, and we also embarked on a journey of cultural change, which has taught me a great deal.
As this opportunity at FCG rose I realized that I had been preparing for this role for the better part of two decades. At FCG, I will put my experience analyzing a company to use, coupled with the great lessons I learned as CFO of the Grand Group. I want to be where the financial side meets with the business development side of things, something I am confident will come my way here at FCG. The people here at FCG have truly impressed me with both their expertise and experience but perhaps even more their humility and welcoming nature. Even in these strange times, every single employee that I have had the chance to talk to have made me feel like a natural part of FCG. I am happy to have a great team in the Finance department, and the entire group beams of ambition and a positive outlook on future successes.
But, coming back to the expertise of the consultants. Expertise is impossible to forge, and the consultants here are really unique in their individual skill sets and experiences. Above all, this is what drew me to come to FCG.
What will you bring to the table as CFO?
FCG will have a strategically focused CFO with the experience in accounting to make sure that we grow in a sound manner, but above all I will be the link between the accounting and the business development part of FCG. All stakeholders, from employees and staff to management and our owners need to know their company and make the right. I want to run a data driven decision making process, and give our experts what they need to make FCG grow.
Recently, we announced the acquisition of financial analysis experts Algorithmica Research. About 18 months ago, we also acquired RegTech pioneers Reg&Tech Solutions. In your lengthy experience acquiring companies, will acquisitions be the name of the game going forward for FCG?
Acquiring the right companies is but one of a number of key focus areas for FCG going forward. Above all, we need to make sure that our experts have what they need to succeed in being te go-to experts in Governance, Risk and Compliance matters to the European financial industry. If looking at acquisitions helps that goal, then we will of course do what we can. As I said earlier, genuine expertise cannot be faked or imitated, and we need to nurture the single most important thing – our experts, their wellbeing and development.I will try and supply the organization with a data driven approach to business development, my counsel and my experiences. I can´t wait to get started, and finally be able to get together with my new colleagues. In times like these, it really dawns on you how having people around you has real impact.
A final word, you mention the covid-19 crisis, that will not only prove to be a humanitarian health crisis but also have severe implications on the financial industry and society as a whole. How do you think FCG will be able to support our industry for the best?
I believe that the increased focus on Governance, risk and compliance I experienced after the last crisis will only continue as this terrible covid-19 pandemic situation develops. I really believe that FCG can help the financial industry stay on top of new regulation and praxise that will undoubtably arise from this, and help the industry navigate this new world with deep experience and the right toolkit. I am sure that we will do our best to do all we can to pull our weight. After all, we´re in this together, let´s get out on the other side together.