Meet the team: Interview with Malin Lombardi
March 29th, 2019
We talk to co-founder Malin Lombardi about her professional career and her insights into Corporate Governance.

Who is Malin Lombardi?

"I'm an ambitious dreamer - a lawyer who broke free from the law firm but remains a very hardworking professional. Also a mother of two living in Stockholm with my Italian husband."

What do you do in your free time and what is your favourite destination?

"Free time? What is that – I kind of have none. I would like to say that I like to read and travel but what I am more likely to do is watch someone else playing tennis or colouring princesses with my princess. And I like Italy, a lot."

What is your professional background?

"I have a law degree from Lund University. Between 2006 and 2015 I was a senior business lawyer with Roschier Attorneys in Stockholm, providing advice to boards, shareholders and senior management in corporate governance matters. 

I spent a great deal of my career in law handling delicate matters relating to M&A and securities law, with a focus on public tender offers, private M&A, transaction structures and advice on insider rules."

Why did join Lagercrantz Associates? 

"I wanted to venture outside of the legal aspects of business. As I had specialised in corporate governance matters early at the law firm, I had met plenty of boards in situations in which they did not like to be (when they needed legal reviews and legal opinions regarding which decision to make, or the validity of past decisions).

When I first heard of Lagercrantz Associates and the board assessment business I thought ”that sounds like too much fun to really exist!”. I jumped at the chance to enter into the heart of corporations, their strategic challenges and opportunities and help them make sure that they would not end up in a situation in which a legal review of their conduct was necessary."

 

screenshot 2019 04 03 at 15 51 03

screenshot 2019 04 03 at 15 51 03

 

Why is it important to do board & CEO evaluation?

It gives you a basis for a conversation on how to improve. It can confirm your ”hunch” or surprise you completely – prompting further conversation and enquiry (if you have someone who is very critical about something that you had no idea about previously).

Either way a general feeling or a hunch is easier to be pushed aside than when you have a tangible report stating that the circumstances are in a certain way. Having a ”paper trail” increases likelihood of subsequent action.

Another reason is transparency - reports and subsequent findings and action plans can be made available to e.g. nomination committees, who typically do not have the same insights into the board room as the board itself. In case of, for instance, CEO assessment - the same tend to be true for the board, the CEO and Chairperson are usually so much closer than the CEO and the rest of the board).

Who should do it? 

Every board and CEO, once every two to three years - minimum. And anyone else who cares about continuous improvement.

How do you see the corporate governance landscape today?

Ambitious, increasingly professional, but people are also a bit anxious. Regulations are piling up, and the media scrutiny of corporate board and executives are more aggressive than ever before. Corporations need to move fast today, it is a fast changing world out there.

When did the idea of BoardClic come around? 

When I joined Lagercrantz Associates, it pretty quickly became evident to me that the companies whose boards and CEOs in most need of being assessed were not our clients due to lack of awareness and/or budget for the more extensive kinds of board/CEO evaluations. Also, we wished to find a quicker, more flexible way to use the data and intelligence we collected through our work in the assessment product itself. 

In addition, the UK regulations requiring externally facilitated board evaluations every three years have created a standard for many companies not formally bound by the rules. Many boards choose to do more comprehensive assessments, with external advisors, interviews, presentations and/or workshops every 3 years.

As for CEO evaluations, we saw in our board assessments that a lot of boards did not feel that they had a structured procedure for assessing their CEO. On the other hand, CEOs were often of the opinion that they were not being properly assessed, or at least did not receive feedback in a structured manner.

As a result, we started the development of BoardClic as a more tangible project approximately a year ago.

What is the vision of BoardClic? 

To create a standard on how to assess boards, CEOs and other key company executives. A tool that enables you to compare yourself to other companies through indexes and benchmarking, in a cost-efficient and immediate fashion. 

I also believe that we will spread to several markets outside of Sweden, starting with the Nordics, then the rest of Europe and some of the more interesting non-European markets.

What makes the BoardClic team great?

We know the product by heart, but now we are reinventing it together with people that do not know the product that well but really know ”new” business models, scalable tech products , businesses, and ”digital marketing” inter alia.

What are the trends in the Nordics that are hot right now in corporate governance?

  • Many boards are increasing their strategy sessions (it used to be one day a year, then it became 2 days in the autumn, and now many add a second strategy session in the spring).
  • A large part of our assessed companies are facing challenges such as big changes in the marketplace or the need to undergo large transformations, leading to a tendency to appoint smaller, very active boards where every director has a very distinct role to play.
  • The war on talents is a concern. Many boards feel that they contribute too little to talent management aspects of the strategy work and implementation. Some companies are opting for enlarging the scope for the classical board remuneration committee or hiring a global, strategic HR director to the senior management team.

 

Last question, How can people reach you? :)

 You can email me on malin@boardclic.com, or call me on +46 76 840 91 15!

screenshot 2019 03 22 at 16 20 06

screenshot 2019 03 22 at 16 20 06