High-schooler vies for spot on Investor board

A 20-year-old Swede who has yet to graduate from high school has nominated himself to the board of Investor, one of Sweden's most powerful investment companies.

“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.”

The Local/dl

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Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop

Swedish investment giant Investor on Wednesday said its first-quarter profits slumped by a quarter, underlining Sweden's vulnerability to international instability.

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop
File photo: Simon Cunningham/Flickr
From January to March 2014 the group – one of the largest investors in Nordic-based multinationals including Saab, Atlas Copco and Ericsson —
reported a 25 percent drop in profits from a year earlier to 12.14 billion kronor ($1.85 billion).
However the group's net asset value, at 227,584 billion kronor grew by 5.6 percent compared to the previous quarter.
Founded over a century ago by the Wallenberg family, the Investor group is often seen as a barometer for the economic health of Sweden, given the large number of indigenous companies which are partly owned by the group.
Among its main investments are engineering company Atlas Copco (16.8 percent share), SEB bank (20.8 percent), the Swiss-Swedish engineering and
robotics firm ABB (8.1 percent) and the white goods group Electrolux (15.5 percent).
Group president Börje Ekholm said in a statement that current geopolitical uncertainty "will increase the uncertainty for our export companies".
The groups shares were down 0.7 percent in late afternoon trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in an overall market down 1.2 percent.