Category Archives: Uncategorized

Celebrating the Executive Interim Manager

Annika Muskantor has 20 years’ experience within Executive Interim Management with assignments at, e.g., Sobi, Bisnode, Zodiak television, and Ebay/Tradera. Her latest CFO assignment was at high-tech Scienta Omicron for 20 months. Annika lives with a partner and has three grown-up daughters. Energy boosters in her life is being with her family, walks by the sea, trekking, skiing, sailing, and cooking. 

Interim CFO with a passion that lasts all the way
You are never better than the team you are building. That is leadership to Annika Muskantor. Change processes and innovation are what she’s passionate about, but the management mission Annika leaves to someone else.

In her profession as interim CFO, Annika Muskantor is often asked: How do you do it? Are you just stirring up some dust?
– As an interim manager, you cannot just ”stir up dust” or suspend decisions. I take all executive decisions as I see fit and stand by them. You should not take on an interim CFO assignment if you truly do not believe that you will leave behind strong organization. Your successor should be up and running quickly, says Annika.

Make use of the economists
Annika tell us that quite often the mood is low at the Finance departments when she arrives. Few talk to each other. Half has already left the company, the other half of the staff works with music in their head phones. It is important, according to Annika, to make the department an attractive workplace and a platform for the whole operation.

Sometimes the finance department is shunted off somewhere, because everyone else at the company think that they are a nuisance and keep on nagging for receipts and invoices. Then Annika moves the department, physically, to a more central position in the office where they better can interact with the whole organisation.

– Make use of the economists, they should not be tormentors, we have the tax authorities for that, she says laughing. The team should be strong, cooperate and have fun together. The finance department should be in demand by the organization regarding basically everything from sales support to forecasts, and contribute wisely to increase profitability. That is the sign of a successful CFO.

Value added 
The motivation comes from value building.

– The stockholders pay for my work. It would be wrong to invoice the client if I don’t deliver more than I charge.

Annika often recruits her successor, and many clients have asked her to stay. She is driven by the change processes, there are other managers better at everyday management. Annika’s focus is always on what the organization needs.

She emphasizes the importance of bringing in competent staff and then to trust them. But of course, she’s there as a back-up if something does’nt go as planned. Building a culture where employees dare to ask for help. As a manager, you are accountable – never throw your co-workers under the bus or take credit for their work. However, allow them to shine.

– I’m responsible if mistakes are made – it means I didn’t keep an eye on things. That is the responsibility of leadership and it’s downside.

Some assignments are turned down
It’s the passion that has taken her where she is today. Annika has selected projects she thought seemed interesting and fun, and becoming good at what she does. This has led to more and more interesting assignments. However, there are industries that Annika avoid, for example addictive products such as cigarettes or gambling.

Integrity and boundaries are important to Annika, her name is her trademark. If a company is one payday away from bankruptcy, that is a challenge to Annika. Then you need to run parallel sales support activities, saving programs, negotiate with banks and financiers – while cleaning up the books. However, she sometimes detects financial irregularities in the companies such as fraud and corruption. Then the assignment will primarily focus on cleaning and correcting in cooperation with the management and auditors.

– So far so good, but I would never accept being the front for unethical or illegal actions.

Safe recruiting
On occasions Annika has been hired by recruiters and sent to a client without them even meeting her prior.

– Nordic Interim’s professional recruiters are the opposite and they are not shy to find different kind of references. This makes me feel protected, and they do exactly the same with the clients. I have never experienced an assignment from Nordic Interim that turned out to be different to what I have been told. Which have happened with other recruiters.

The price tag of a career
Annika’s career has given her a lot of joy and she says this is the best job in the world. However, at a price – her children have had to grow up fast and from time to time she has worked a lot.

– But I have at the same time always been there for my children. Even in negotiations, if they call I answer. On the other hand, they have heard the phrase “mummy needs to work now” more than once.

Annika is not regretful about this, nor are her now grown-up daughters. They have discussed this a lot within the family.

– I believe that my hard work has taught them that as a woman you can follow your dreams and do what you want. I hope that they follow their passions to the end of the road.

Annika Muskantor, Executive Interim Manager

By Eleonor Björch Lowe

Interim CFO

We are looking for a CFO to be well structured “wing man” for a driving & sales oriented CEO. The requirement profile includes business control, accounting, financing incl. new issue of shares. Experience in the stock exchange as well as company acquisition and integration are highly credible. The assignment is likely to last six to nine months with the possibility of a longer engagement. Location in Stockholm.


The Interim Manager that keep on giving after the assignment has ended

Anders Carlson came to Fonus for the interim assignment. He was called “the temp”, a word that everyone understood. Nine months later, both company and employees understood that “a temp” really could contribute and add value.
– My goal is to add long-term value for both the clients and the staff. I want to achieve results that really make a difference for the customer, says Anders.
An Interim Manager need to be an up and running Executive and operational extremely fast, to be a tool for the client to reach specific goals. It is important that assignments, delivery and targets are clear and that they are continuously tuned between the parties, in this case Anders, the CEO of Fonus, and Nordic Interim.

For an Interim Manager to be able to contribute quickly, a proper zero-position analysis must be done at once. In addition to reading up, Anders spoke with as many employees as possible to create an overall image. Everyone were asked the same questions, e.g., Where are the improvement areas? What is important to you? What works? Who makes things happen? What symptoms are visible? And what are the causes?
The focus was to clarify the root causes of the symptoms identified, as well as test different hypotheses. Delivery must be planned initially so that I do not leave any loose ends behind. The more I learned, the picture became more and more clear regarding what I could possibly accomplish in my limited time.

True engagement for the staff
At first, some employees were doubtful and maybe even skeptical. It was important to show Anders’ genuine long-term commitment, having in mind the common good.
I was clear about me being part of the improvement process and to leave something behind that was better than when I arrived; Customer cultivation, sales and profitability, and to make Fonus an even better employer.
With approximately 25,000 funerals per year, all deliveries in the process must work perfectly. The employees really want to create a dignified personal farewell in a delicate situation.

Fonus consists of amazing people, dedicated, doing a great job in an environment where nothing must go wrong. During a brainstorming, we sought inspiration from other industries to develop our business and to motivate the staff in being part of the company going forward.
It was concluded that the potential for improvement was to develop the customer process, offering the customers improved availability, better conditions for new employees, improved collaboration between different offices, a change in the emergency services, and an improved logistics process.

Major efficiency improvements with the help of projects run by the employee
With the CEO’s approval, support and prioritization, Anders started three different project groups led by non-executive employees. They got a lot of responsibility and external support for the projects. Everyone had to show new and improved skills and several of the project participants impressed greatly with their commitment, drive, and knowledge.
When challenged to think in a new direction and gained a mandate to drive progress, energy and creative ideas were released. The teams worked efficiently and quickly arrived at new and achievable solutions. They even dared to challenge old truths.
The objectives of the projects were to improve both customer and staff satisfaction and to increase profitability by SEK 25 million. Addressed areas were coordination of transport and car pools, office collaboration, new on-duty systems and radically increased accessibility for the customers as well as a web support solution for the customers.

A change agent must be able to deliver good work every day
It is more challenging to be an Interim Manager than an employee. The mission is to be a change agent with a clear plan and get results in a short period of time. Lead times are shorter. Need deliver every day and can never become part of the daily routine of things. To dare also requires experience.
Already at the beginning of the career, Anders prioritized to be a good leader. Experience includes Group Management in state monopoly Wine & Spirits, as Head of Unilever, and as CEO of private equity-owned companies. He has also been a consultant, coached new CEOs and have been a mentor for almost 20 people.
Like most Interim Mangers, Anders is a senior leader with substantial experience, really overclassified if it had been a permanent service. Which is needed for success.
Appropriate qualities for an Interim Manager are: structured and focused on results and problem-solving. The success criterion is to be a relationship-creating, committed leader who creates expectations and get people onboard. I reached out to everyone and was approachable.


Senior Director Program/Project Office

Our client in a large Swedish company which is currently making major investments within its infrastructure (Facilities, Buildings, IT etc.). The company is currently building a central group function with the responsibility to manage and execute the complete Project portfolio. We are looking for a senior person (minimum 15-20 year experience) that can help our client set up, build and run the new central Project Office function. The successful candidate has solid experience from industries where projects is the heart of the business. Relevant background is Telecom, Energy, Oil & Gas, but also Automotive, Assembled Goods or equivalent. The assignment will start as soon as possible and last for +9 months. Location in Stockholm.

Interim HR Manager

Join our network and help us solve our client needs. We are looking for a hands-on and all-round interim HR Manager. The client is an international company with head office in the  Västerås area. The assignment will start as soon as possible and will last 9-12 months.