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The prolific Swedish investment company

Investor is currently one of the largest investment companies in the Nordics by market cap. The company was founded in 1916 by the Wallenberg family, a family that could be seen as the Swedish answer to the Rockefellers. They own high-quality global businesses and live after the Latin proverb “Esse non videri” or in English, “To be, rather than to seem.”

Through board representation, industrial experience, a first-class network, and financial strength, they work towards superior performance for their companies and strive towards reaching their full potential. The company is a majority shareholder in several Swedish large-cap companies, mainly in the telecommunications-, electronics-, and automotive industries.

Thanks to the strong influence of the Wallenberg family in significant companies such as, for example, SEB, Investor possesses a strong position in the Swedish business sector. They have positions in over 20 companies, the core of which are Atlas Copco, ABB, SEB, AstraZeneca, Wärtsilä, Sobi, Saab, Ericsson, and Epiroc.

Founded by the Wallenberg family, the "Swedish Rockefellers"

Since the founding of Investor in 1916, the company has been controlled by the Wallenberg family through the Wallenberg foundation. The family is an eminent finance family, known since André Oscar Wallenberg, in 1856, founded Stockholms Enskilda Bank, sometimes called Enskilda banken - Stockholm’s first private bank, which has evolved into the today called Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken or SEB. The Kreuger crash, in the early 1930s led to Investor taking over Ivar Kreuger’s interests in several companies, including Ericsson, SKF, and Svenska Tändsticks AB (STAB).

Further reading: Jacob Wallenberg: The Chariman of Investor AB

The administration of the remains of the Kreuger empire became the main task for Marcus Wallenberg, who dominated the Swedish business sector for more than half a century. Together with Curt Nicolin, Marcus firmly rooted the family's position of power. Indirectly, the family historically controlled a third of the Swedish GNP through their bank- and industry imperium. They maintained control through an old-boy network of handpicked executives and by possessing the largest voting block of stock in each affiliated company. The finance family has had a central role in the modern era of Sweden.

Fun fact: The name Wallenberg, outside Europe, most likely draws one's thoughts to Raoul Wallenberg, the businessman, and diplomat who mysteriously disappeared in Russia during the end years of World War 2 after rescuing thousands of Jews in German-occupied Hungary. Raoul was a distant cousin of the powerful patriarch, Peter Wallenberg, but was never involved in the family business.

Spinning off EQT

In 1993, the idea to start a private equity firm was born during a dinner in Gamla Stan (Old Town) in Stockholm. At the table sat Conni Jonsson, a previous employee at Investor, and Claes Dahlbäck, CEO of Investor from 1978 to 1999. With inspiration from the Wallenberg family and their philosophy of responsible ownership, Conni Jonsson 1994 was given the opportunity to start EQT, with support from Investor and SEB. The following years, EQT launched their first fund, focused on industry companies in Sweden and its neighboring countries. Today EQT has a track record of stable and attractive growth within several geographical areas, sectors, and strategies stretching over close to three decades.

In 2019, the company entered a new chapter by going public on Nasdaq Stockholm. Going public has strengthened their financial muscles and created new possibilities for further investments and global scalability. The public environment also contributes to a more transparent and open corporate governance structure, which is in line with the values of EQT.