‘I had a short and rather bad career as an actor, which peaked with a 15-second appearance as a transvestite in a Swedish movie’

What are you thinking about right now?

Kids and triathlon! I have taken a few months off work to spend some quality time with my children – we have quite generous rules for maternity and paternity leave in Sweden. I’d say it is actually harder work handling four kids than managing my company’s risks. And triathlon because I am participating in the Stockholm Triathlon, and my training is behind schedule.

What is your most treasured possession?

I’m not a very material person, but we bought a holiday home in the Stockholm archipelago a couple of years ago and it might be the best thing I have ever done. Being able to go there for weekends and summer holidays is just great.

Who is your greatest hero?

I am impressed by people who take big personal risks for other people – and for a better world. It can be anything from a whistleblower in a company or a kid who stops a fight, to someone doing something great for mankind. A good recent example is the Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, who fought for girls’ rights to go to school and got hurt because of it. She is definitely a great hero.

What is the biggest risk you have taken?

When I was younger I really loved high-adrenaline sports. I often used to climb rocks, paraglide and scuba dive. I did not really think of them as dangerous, even though I fell victim to incidents that could have ended much worse than they did. It might be my passion of managing risks that led me to paragliding and to risk management as a profession. Another risk comes to mind: on a management course some years ago I volunteered for a secret task, which turned out to be the conductor for an orchestra. I am absolutely tone deaf, so standing there on the podium for 10 minutes was a true nightmare that never seemed to end! From that day, I was a bit more cautious when volunteering for unknown things. 

What is your greatest achievement?

I have done, and am doing, quite well in both my professional and private life – but I wouldn’t really say that I have achieved anything great. I do have plans to write a book – and have had these plans for many years. It would be a book that has nothing to do with my work, and if/when I’ve achieved this, I will probably consider that my greatest achievement.

Tell us a secret

I had a short and rather bad career as an actor, which peaked with a 15-second appearance as a transvestite in a Swedish movie. Not many people knew about that before this interview with StrategicRISK, and not many saw the film.

What makes you happy?

Most things, actually. But I took one week off from “child-keeping” in August and went up to the Swedish mountains and hiked with a friend. Walking around in the mountains with no other people around, eating bad freeze-dried food and sleeping in a tent when the temperature was -5° in the middle of the summer was fantastic. I prefer that to spending a week on a beach.

What is the most important lesson you have learned?

To do what I believe is the right thing. And to ask questions in situations where I’m not clear or don’t understand. It means I can sometimes be a pain, but that is better than doing something I don’t believe in or don’t understand.