Operations Managers reflect on their time at Nordic Capital | Nordic Capital

Two Operations Managers reflect on their time at Nordic Capital and career prospects within the portfolio

DECEMBER 30 2023

Nordic Capital's steadfast commitment to operational improvement underpins its strategy for value creation and building stronger, more resilient businesses. Here, Jenny Isaksson and Oliver Jakob, reflect on the insights they gained from working on critical projects as Operations Managers and how their time at Nordic Capital Advisors was a launching pad for exciting career prospects within the portfolio.

Ownership Excellence is Nordic Capital's differentiated and structured approach to company ownership and value creation. It combines the dedicated resources and industry best practices that supercharge operational enhancement, making them readily available to the portfolio companies.

Ownership Excellence is supported by an Operations team, which works seamlessly with Nordic Capital Advisors' investment professionals during due diligence, throughout company ownership and ultimately when preparing for exit.

As a first step, the Operations Manager takes part in a 24-month coaching programme, comprising critical projects integral to the success of a portfolio company's value creation plan. These include functional areas such as sales, customer success, strategy, finance, data, and analytics. They benefit from being part of an experienced organisation, but, more importantly, the programme provides them with opportunity to work closely with the portfolio companies, building networks and receiving coaching to further refine their leadership skills.

In time, Operations Managers have the opportunity to move onto leadership roles within the portfolio companies.

"The best part of being an Operations Manager is building relationships with these companies and seeing the value creation plans come to life."

Jenny Isaksson, Director, Channel Development at Vizrt Group.

In this article, Jenny Isaksson and Oliver Jakob, two former Operations Managers at Nordic Capital Advisors who have moved on to leadership roles within the portfolio at Vizrt Group and Vivecti Group, share their experiences.

"As an Operations Manager, you're able to collaborate closely with multiple companies, building a deep understanding of business models and drawing on best practices across the portfolio. It also gives you the opportunity to build strong, collaborative relationships with both the Nordic Capital investment advisory team and portfolio companies' top leadership, ensuring that you can hit the ground running once you transition into a portfolio company," said Jenny.

"You gain unique insights and skills from working with a leading private equity firm, which you otherwise would not get going straight to a privately-owned company. The coaching programme also offers great development potential and the ability to develop your capabilities in the areas you are most passionate about," said Oliver.

When transferring into a portfolio company after a few years with Nordic Capital, the role that the Operations Manager takes is meticulously chosen, based on individual strengths and key functional interests. However, a common feature across all roles is the emphasis on leadership.

For Oliver, this translated into becoming the Head of Strategic Programmes at Vivecti Group, which provides integrated, technology-enabled services and solutions for healthcare providers and suppliers.

"You get to develop an in-depth understanding of private equity value drivers, tools, and approaches to make companies successful."

Oliver Jakob, Head of Strategic Programs at Vivecti Group.

For Jenny, after 24 months as Operations Manager, in 2023 she was appointed as Director, Channel Development, at Vizrt Group, a global leader in production software for live video production, serving the world's best storytellers.

These are just a few examples of the many personal and professional growth journeys at Nordic Capital. Ryan Dougherty, a former Operations Manager, also took on the role of Head of Strategy at Conscia. Ryan's responsibilities include co-developing business plans, driving strategy execution in the business units, leveraging a broad-based understanding of the business, forging new working relationships to unlock value across the organisation and establishing and guiding the leadership team through a robust business governance process.

During his tenure as Operations Manager at Nordic Capital Advisors, Oliver names a deep industry perspective as one of his most valued take-aways.

"You get to develop an in-depth understanding of private equity value drivers, tools, and approaches to make companies successful, and the dynamics at play in crucial decision-making," said Oliver.

He added: "Nordic Capital has a great team culture, and you gain insights into lots of companies and disciplines. To create value while also developing my leadership skills was very rewarding. I'm also thankful for all the connections made at Nordic Capital and across its portfolio."

"The best part of being an Operations Manager is building relationships with the portfolio companies and seeing the value creation plans come to life. Results are what matters and what we're measured by, which I enjoy," said Jenny.

Nordic Capital’s Operations Manager Program

If you're interested in joining, find out more here.

Career at Nordic Capital

Read more about career prospects at Nordic Capital here.