Interview with Mikael Ahlström – Anchor Investor in Nordic Asia

2020-12-01Nordic Asia Team
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Please tell us briefly about yourself and your background?

After an MBA at INSEAD in France, I founded Procuritas in 1986, as Northern Europe’s first Private Equity Group. I am still a partner but without any executive responsibilities. Today I spend my time as the chair of Byggmästaren Anders J Ahlström, a publicly listed company, founded by my great grandfather in 1898, which I restarted in 2013, and I am also chair at The Perimeter Protection Group. I also engage in several philanthropic organizations, such as the Foundation Chelha, vitalizing democracy in Sweden, and the Foundation Mitt Alby, supporting entrepreneurs in Botkyrka.

Why do you think it is interesting to increase your investment exposure towards the Chinese domestic consumption market?

Since Deng Xiaoping’s economic reform in 1978, when China opened to do business with the rest of the world, China has been on a steady path to becoming a giant economic powerhouse. I am confident, we are just seeing the beginning of a very strong growth and internationalization of Chinese companies. I also believe trade is good for global cooperation and thus it makes even more sense to invest in China as it continues to open up its domestic market.

What convinced you to become an early investor in Nordic Asia?

As always, it is a question of people. As Nordic Asia’s Founder Yining Wang is a very bright, low-key individual, whom I have known for years and who has the right background and competence to start-up and grow Nordic Asia to become a very interesting player on the Nordic Asian financial markets, I felt the risk-reward ratio was good. I am also convinced that Yining will be able to continue to attract very smart and talented people to the firm and build the right team.

What is your view of the development in Nordic Asia thus far?

Like many successful entrepreneurs, Yining and his team are very focused on its mission, however, to create a good balance between risk/reward and synergies in the company, Nordic Asia is pursuing a multi-product strategy. Much like Bill Gates did in the early days of Microsoft :)

Which problems do you think Nordic Asia can solve for Nordic investors who would like to increase their portfolio allocation to China consumption?

All of them! Joking aside, Nordic Asia will create greater transparency, analytics, insight, interesting contacts, and possibly unique knowledge about the companies and entrepreneurs in the Chinese market. Making it easier and more transparent for Nordic Investors to make informed decisions regarding potential investments in Asia.

What are the potential and key challenges for Nordic Asia in the future?

To be able to build a team of top talents and to avoid and navigate potential political unrest or regulatory constraints relating to doing business in China. Things I am sure the team can overcome with their mission to decode Asian investment opportunities to Nordic investors via their deep knowledge of the Chinese market, local market presence yet coupled with strong Nordic values and professionalism.

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Thomas Nordén
Thomas Nordén

Stockholm OfficeNordic Asia Group 1987 AB Brännkyrkagatan 14A 118 20 Stockholm www.nordicasiagroup.com
Shanghai OfficeNordic Asia Group 1987 AB Huaxia Bank Building 1207 256 Pudong S Rd, Lu Jia Zui, Pudong, Shanghai