OPERATING IN A LONG-TERM AND COMMITTED MANNER FOR SWEDEN
Sweden is – and will always be – the base of the family’s activities. The family’s fundamental concept is to support companies of Swedish origin that are growing their operations in the international market – a concept that was established when André Oscar Wallenberg founded Stockholms Enskilda Bank (SEB today) in 1856. The statutes of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation from 1917 also specifically state that grants and activities are to be “landsgagneliga”, meaning in Swedish that they are to benefit Sweden as a country. This principle is still valid today.
FOCUSING ON GETTING THE JOB DONE
“Esse non videri” – to act, not to seem to be. Marcus Wallenberg Sr adopted this phrase as his credo in 1931 when he became a Knight and Commander of the Royal Order of the Seraphim. The phrase illustrates the Wallenberg family’s approach to their activities: to focus on moving forward pragmatically and solving the task at hand in a long-term and sustainable manner.
INNOVATION AND RENEWAL
“To move from the old to what is about to come is the only tradition worth keeping”. Marcus "Dodde" Wallenberg wrote this in a letter to his brother Jacob in 1946 in an attempt to convince him to leave the family’s interests in the railroad industry and focus instead on founding the airline SAS. This phrase illustrates the concept of renewal and focusing on the future through innovation, research and new markets, and through new products and ideas that are steadily needed for companies to develop and grow successfully over time. Using this approach, the family’s goal is to create long-lasting value.
RIGHT PERSON, IN THE RIGHT PLACE, AT THE RIGHT TIME
“No business is so bad that it cannot be put back on its feet with the right leadership, but no business is so good that it cannot be destroyed by a bad leader.” This was one of Marcus Wallenberg Sr’s key quotes. It illustrates the family’s conviction that strong leadership and competent individuals make a big difference. This is why work is sharply focused on developing and expanding the family’s Swedish and international network and to ensure that best people are appointed to the boards and managements of holdings and to other key positions.
Since 1856, the family has experienced several major financial and economic crises at close hand within companies in Sweden and other parts of the world. The lesson learned from these crises is to always maintain financial vigilance and strong liquidity positions. This will create room for maneuver, allowing companies to control their own destiny, regardless of the market environment, and to do what is necessary for long-term success. When the depression broke out in Sweden in 1879, A.O. Wallenberg wrote this in a letter: “It is in bad times that good business can be done”.
LEADING COMPANIES AND EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH
The strategy is to focus on having ownership positions in sound companies that are, or have the potential to become, the leaders in their industry or global leaders. From this platform, active ownership work is focused on supporting the companies to constantly improve. The central focus of the Foundations’ grant programs is to achieve excellence. Important scientific breakthroughs are accomplished by state-of-the-art projects and by world-class researchers who are given a high degree of independence to perform their research.
Like the generations before us, we focus on building long-term relations with companies, institutions and people in Sweden and around the world. Our base is Sweden, a country with 10 million inhabitants and 0.1 percent of the global population that is dependent on openness, exchange and collaboration to develop in the best possible way. Against this background, we carry out our networking activities in a structured, coordinated and proactive manner to build further on the contact network developed by our family over generations.
We build our networks with the conviction that free commerce, open markets and predictable playing rules are fundamentally necessary for companies to grow. We also firmly believe that the international research community develops faster and more effectively through today’s deep level of international cooperation, which is being expanded constantly. We therefore participate in the activities of a number of organizations and forums and spend much of our time out in the world to create personal contacts, assist the companies in which we have holdings, and update our knowledge continuously and also advocate Sweden and Swedish values.
Today, members of the fifth generation are leading the family’s activities. Like the generations before us, we are working on a long-term basis for the betterment of our country. Our base is Sweden, a nation situated in the far north of the world that needs strong international relations and a global perspective.
We work to give Sweden’s researchers and companies a solid platform to compete effectively in a highly competitive global market. We have been entrusted with the governance and development of what earlier generations of our family have created and we consider this our mission.
Jacob Wallenberg is Chair of Investor AB, Vice Chair of Wallenberg Investments AB, FAM AB and Patricia Industries, and Director on the boards of several Wallenberg Foundations. He is also actively involved in the telecommunications industry, and the power and automation technology industry as Vice chair of Ericsson and ABB. Jacob holds an MBA degree from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Marcus Wallenberg is Chair of Wallenberg Investments AB, FAM AB and Patricia Industries, Vice chair of Investor AB and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and Director of Navigare Ventures AB. He is also involved in banking and finance, the defense industry, private equity and the pharmaceutical industry as Chair of SEB and Saab AB, Vice chair of EQT and as Director on AstraZeneca's board. Marcus holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
PETER WALLENBERG JR
Peter Wallenberg Jr is Chair of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, Wallenberg Foundations AB and some of the smaller Wallenberg Foundations. He is also involved in the engineering industry and the hotel business as Director on the boards of Atlas Copco and Scania as well as Chair of Grand Hôtel Stockholm. Peter Jr holds a BSBA in Hotel Administration from the University of Denver.
Caroline Ankarcrona is Director on the board of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. She holds a Master of Laws degree from Lund University.
Andrea Gandet is Director on the board of the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation. She has studied Hotel Administration at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.
Mariana Risberg is Director on the board of the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Stockholm University.
Celia Pilkington shares the main responsibility with Jacob Wallenberg to work with the next generation.
Today, there is a program in place to enable sixth-generation family members to learn more about the activities associated with the family and become gradually involved in them over time.
Under the leadership of Peter Wallenberg Jr and Celia Pilkington, a program has been established to allow the approximately 30 members of the sixth generation to learn more about the family’s engagements, values and history. The program, a top priority for the family, aims to create a solid platform for the next generation to take over the baton.
THE WALLENBERG OFFICE
A function called the Wallenberg Office operates within the framework of Wallenberg Foundations AB to build further on the contact network developed by the Wallenberg family over generations. This is accomplished by carrying out networking activities in a structured, coordinated and proactive manner.
The function also works with managing and developing the Wallenberg name, which is closely linked with the ability to develop the network. The Wallenberg Office also supports activities to inspire and educate the next generation of the Wallenberg family. The program for the next generation is financed by the fifth generation.