“I want to engage in the company in which I am in fact a partial owner,” John Eriksson told Sveriges Radio (SR) in explaining his decision.
Eriksson hails from Karlskoga in south central Sweden but is currently in his final year of high school in Örebro.
Despite his relative youth, Eriksson is already an Investor shareholder and finds it baffling that he is the first individual stock owner in the company’s nearly century-long history to nominate him or herself to the board of directors.
Several hundred thousands have had the opportunity, but it seems as if no one really cares about what goes on,” he told SR.
Speaking with the Swedish business daily Dagens Industri (DI) Eriksson explained why he thought he deserved a spot on the Investor board alongside seasoned scions of Swedish business like Jacob Wallenberg and former Electrolux CEO Hans Stråberg.
“I may not have the qualifications, but I have ideas and a vision for Investor. I’m from a completely different generation than the other board members and I can open discussions and say what others don’t even dare to think,” he told DI.
According to Eriksson, Investor’s biggest problem is the difference between the company’s book value and market value.
“It’s sky-high and that’s a statement of no-confidence from the market. Fundamentally, the problem is that Investor is more about power than returns,” he told DI.
Eriksson said he’s already been in touch with Hans Wibom, who chairs the Investor board nomination committee.
“He’s indicated its unlikely that I’ll get a seat, but he was very respectful and kind. When a 20-year-old without any education nominates himself, it’s clear that it’s considered anything but humble,” he told DI.
However, Eriksson dismissed those who described him as “cocky”, telling SR, “I simply care about how his money is treated.”