Uppsala alumna Therese Lundstedt: Breaking new ground in conservative industry
11 September 2017
The art of communicating simply and precisely to get a message across is one of the things alumna Therese Lundstedt learned from her studies in Uppsala. Today, she is the CEO of the online broker Aktieinvest and is passionate about more people becoming familiar with saving in shares.
Therese Lundstedt wants us to care more about our savings.
“Sometimes, money can make life much easier. Traditionally, the stock market has been the preserve of the rich. Many still believe this to be true. But in actuality, there is no better form of savings than shares when it comes to being able to afford one’s dreams,” she says.
Since she finished her studies in Uppsala in 2005, she has worked her way through the financial sector. Much of what Therese Lundstedt does is about communication, such as showing what she and her colleagues have to offer and why it is so good. In Uppsala, she wrote her Master’s thesis on customer loyalty.
“My supervisor could not emphasise enough the importance of communicating simply, clearly and directly. ‘Not a single unnecessary word!’ was his advice. If he saw how we communicate today at Aktieinvest, I think he would be pleased.”
Otherwise, Therese Lundstedt’s best Uppsala memories are from her volunteering in the Uppsala Business and Economics Student Association. She was in charge of the Contact Days and served as Vice President for a period of time.
“It was a fun and enriching time. I still spend time with many of the people I met then.”
When Aktieinvest recruited her as their CEO in 2015, it was with a clear mandate to modernise and digitalise the business. Today, the marketing department is entirely digitalised and several new savings products have seen the light of day, such as a savings box for everyone who wants to make monthly savings in gender-equal companies. The portfolio has been developed with the help of Sandra Lindqvist, Framtidsfeministen, who can present data showing that gender-equal companies perform better in the stock market.
Therese Lundstedt feels that Aktieinvest showed courage when they recruited her as the CEO in 2015, a young woman among old men.
“Everyone who makes decisions outside the norm can expect to be called into question. I myself feel that I make extra efforts to succeed in my position. I am so aware that a failure would not just affect me, but also other women in the industry.”
It has gone very well so far. Since she took office as the CEO, the business has turned from loss to profit and earlier this year, the Ledarna management organisation named her the Female Leader of the Future.
In the citation for the prize, Ledarna emphasised Therese Lundstedt’s inclusive leadership as a success factor in the process of change.
“It’s a challenge to convince people to change at so many different levels. The management, board and employees all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet. But I prefer to put myself in challenging contexts where I can succeed.
“A large part of the fun of my job is that I can cheer people on and be there when they grow at the same time that I myself learn a great deal every day. We are like a big team,” explains Therese Lundstedt.
Besides leading the strategic process of change, she participates in all of the different parts of the business as often as possible.
“The finance industry is changing rapidly so there is a lot to keep track of. For me, it’s great that there are always new things to learn since I am fast and restless as a person. I like it when things are in motion.”
Despite an often hectic professional everyday life, Therese Lundstedt describes Aktieinvest as a very friendly company where professionalism goes hand in hand with warmth.
“Here, people change toilet paper rolls for each other. That usually says something about the atmosphere. And we can laugh. I think that can be a good way to let off tension.”
If she were to give advice to other young women, and men, who are aiming high in the finance world, it would be to do what she has done, work with things that can be measured.
“Be measurable! And if you aim high, you have to be courageous when a chance presents itself. Take on a difficult job that feels scary, then you’ll learn loads.”
Name: Therese Lundstedt.
Age: 35 years old.
Title: CEO of Aktieinvest.
Education: Master of Science in Business and Management, Uppsala University.
Family: Mother, father, two sisters, four nieces and nephews and around 40 colleagues.
Leisure-time interests: Exercising, drinking wine, laughing with friends. And I have just earned my hunting licence.
Favourite place in Uppsala: Kakelbaren at the Stockholms nation student union.
Favourite place on Earth: The family retreat in Väster-Övsjö in Jämtland. I go there to hide and recharge my batteries.
This makes me happy: Other people. I get energy from being together with others.
This makes me angry: Online hate and xenophobia make me incredibly frustrated.
Motto: No guts, no glory.