"The decision to join was easy"
Yana Augustsson and Oskar Lindholm-Wu reveal their experiences as part of the Procuritas team
“On my first day at Procuritas I found myself in a meeting discussing a potential investment, even before they had assigned me an office desk,” says Yana Augustsson with a laugh.
“I had to hit the ground running,” Yana says.
A year before, in 2014, she had quit her job at a leading growth investment company to sail 13,000 miles across the Atlantic and back with her husband. When they returned in the summer of 2015, she was quickly approached with an offer to join Procuritas.
“It all was very fast and intense. I was introduced to the whole team and was impressed by the combination of knowledge and experience, but also the informality and friendliness. The two other competing job offers I had received were quickly rejected,” says Yana, now an experienced Investment Manager.
Oskar Lindholm-Wu joined Procuritas in 2012. As an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company in Stockholm, he had worked closely with several private equity firms but never considered joining one. That was until he was introduced to Procuritas.
“Procuritas felt different from the PE firms I had experience of working with. There was a genuine interest in how to develop the portfolio companies long term, not just a rush to boost profitability in advance of an exit. The people I met at Procuritas were, both experienced and clever, but also humble and down to earth, with a wide variety of personalities. The culture fascinated me, and the decision to join was easy,” says Oskar Lindholm-Wu.
When Oskar joined Procuritas as an Associate, he says the first years at the firm was all about “getting the toolbox in place”. He spent time learning about buyouts, how to put together an efficient Board of Directors and how to plan and execute an exit. Now, as a Partner of the firm, he says he is grateful that he has been able to follow several investments from the start, and can now devote more of his time to coach and support some of the more junior team members.
“In my view Procuritas has become an even better place to work every single year. There is always a positive attitude, we have a flat organization and we keep challenging each other to be better at what we do. We give recruits a lot of responsibility, and when they are ready, they get even more. We have a culture for straight feedback and actively support one another,” Oskar says.
Yana agrees that the culture, diversity and laid-back approach sets Procuritas apart.
“It is demanding, but also the most entertaining job it is possible to have. You get to participate in strategic decisions and follow the development of the portfolio companies over time. Looking for new potential investments is really a lot of fun. We get leads through many different channels, from investment banks to our own personal networks,” she explains.
Yana primarily follows the consumer and software sectors but is also on a team that works with an industrial company and serves as a board director in two companies. One of them is Sofa Company, where she also was part of the team that made the initial investment. This is typically how Procuritas works.
“When we invest in a company, we develop a Value Creation Plan together with management, normally with a five-year horizon. The plan is not static, and we adjust it when needed. The first year of an investment is always very intensive with a lot of interaction,” says Yana.
As a Partner, Oskar has participated in many investment processes. He has personally experienced how important teamwork is to achieving results.
“During a transaction process, everyone is under pressure, including the owners that are selling or reducing their shareholding. A while ago, I was involved in a complex negotiation with especially high temperature. On both sides of the table we were sure that the deal would not work out and that we would never reach an agreement,” says Oskar.
Then one of his colleagues stepped in and was able to find solutions that had previously evaded the two negotiating teams and the process was made exclusive.
“We succeeded in finding an excellent way to cooperate. This is Procuritas’ teamwork at its best,” says Oskar.
And the Procuritas team even cooperates in their spare time. Last year, the firm entered a team in the Ragnar Relay Race, running as fast as they can 275 km around Lake Mälaren. Procuritas also participates in the annual PE Football Tournament, competing against most of the major private equity firms active in Sweden. “I am a proud member of our PE football team, but last year I could not play, and our team won the cup. Maybe that was not a coincidence,” says Oskar.