Spotlight Investor AB: Best-in-Class Begins with R&D and Sustainability

March 03, 2021
By Knowledge Leaders Team in Knowledge Leaders

Sweden’s Investor AB was founded in 1916 by the Wallenberg family with the aim of making long-term investments in high-quality global companies, a business philosophy it has maintained through booms, depressions, recessions, and global trends. Chaired today by Jacob Wallenberg, the firm supports companies in two ways: First, through long-term investments, and second, through active board participation. It works with publicly listed and wholly owned companies, and also participates in co-founding new businesses.

All of Investor’s work is based on the central value that to become or remain best-in-class, companies must invest in R&D, regardless of pressure from the stock market or other external forces. Specifically, the firm encourages its companies to invest in new technologies and innovations such as 5G, AI, robotics and automation. In 2019, 10% of total revenues of its 22 companies were re-invested in R&D.

In addition, Investor looks at sustainability as a form of future-proofing. It remains convinced that integrating sustainability practices is a key factor in whether companies outperform the competition over time. The firm believes the world’s response to climate change requires enormous resources and technological advances from the global business community and expects its companies to play a key role in this transition. Investor supports companies’ efforts to remain competitive over time, with focus on creating value not just for shareholders but for society at large. Current investments include Atlas Copco, ABB, AstraZeneca, Ericsson, Nasdaq, Saab and Sobi, to name a few. The firm has 92 employees in offices in Stockholm, New York and Palo Alto, California.

As of 12/31/20, Investor AB, ABB, AstraZeneca, Ericsson, Nasdaq, Saab and Sobi were not held and Atlas Copco was held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.

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