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Nordic family offices discussed the value of direct investments

Susanna Campbell flanked by SEB's Stina Norrhede and Maria Rimbäck
Susanna Campbell flanked by SEB's Stina Norrhede and Maria Rimbäck

“I hope this leads to more family offices daring to step over the border and make direct investments”. That’s what investor and board professional Susanna Campbell says. She participated in SEB’s networking event, Private Assets for Professional Investors, PAPI.

This was the second year SEB invited family-owned investment companies in the Nordics to discuss direct investments in unlisted companies and other alternative assets. Representatives of around 50 family offices in the Nordics gathered at the Stockholm School of Economics to share their experiences and discuss risks and opportunities with this type of investment.

Peter Lauridsen, deputy head of SEB’s division PWM&FO, and Mattias Nordqvist, who holds SEB’s professorship in entrepreneurship and family business at the School of Economics, welcomed the guests. Several panel discussions with senior representatives of family-owned investment companies followed. There was also plenty of time for questions and discussion among those present.

Here are voices from some of the participants who talk about why it is interesting for family offices to make direct investments, what family office investors can add and the value of this type of event.

Susanna Campbell, chairman of the H&M-backed textile recycling company Syre, and a Northvolt, H2GS, Kinnevik and Estrid board member.

“Direct investments can be a way to diversify your portfolio and invest in things that you believe in and that engage you. It can be seen as complex and risky, but you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket just because you invest in unlisted companies. It is possible to build up a portfolio even there and achieve risk diversification.”

Maria Wasastjerna, partner at Finnish industrial tech investor Kvanted

“There are many values ​​with this type of event, but I would particularly highlight the contacts you make. There are good and meaningful discussions in a rather small and intimate setting like this, with people sharing insights and engaging actively. Everything you want from an occasion like this.”

Erik Törnberg, investment manager at Creades and CEO of Sven Hagströmer’s ownership company Biovestor:

“As a family office, you can offer something other than venture capital funds. It is possible to have a completely different long-term perspective. For example, we have owned Avanza for 25 years. The most significant value of an event like this is networking and meeting other companies that work similarly and in the same environments. It provides the opportunity to have a qualified discussion about the issues that apply to us.

Staffan Salén, CEO of Salenia and chairman of Sagax AB.

“Direct investments are a good component of compound management over time. In addition, families have a long-time perspective, which lends itself well to direct investments. Everyone must find their own method and then it is valuable to listen to how other families work..”