We will only invest in companies aligned with our values

“We will only invest in companies aligned with our values”

He has billions of NOK to spend to help Schibsted grow even more. Andrew Kvålseth is the new Chief Investment Officer, hired to build on the success of Schibsted’s prior successful investments.

Schibsted is a growth company, it has already reinvented itself so many times through investments, and that’s what we need to continue to do to be successful over the long-term.”

Andrew only just began in August 2021 and his role is new. But Schibsted’s has a strong history of making successful investments. From printing, to news, to digital media. And not least, Schibsted brought classified ads online and made a series of international marketplace investments, which eventually became Adevinta, a company worth more than 150 billion NOK.

Now, some of the capital from these successful investments needs to be redeployed to create a strong portfolio to diversify and drive the future growth of Schibsted and – not least – to support its underlying mission of empowering people in their daily lives. Andrew will work with Schibsted Ventures, and all other investment teams across the company, to support this mission.

News media a core part

“There are many attractive opportunities for a company like Schibsted. In my view, news media is a core part of our purpose, especially considering what is happening around the world – trustworthy news are more important than ever. Schibsted’s DNA is news and we have done better than mostAs an example, he mentions the NYT who is very proud of its seven million paying subscribers, and has the whole English-speaking world as its market. Compared to this, Schibsted is doing very well with more than one million subscribers.

“Still, there is so much potential. You can either look at the media industry as something fixed – or be part of innovating it. We choose the latter.”
News might be core – but from an investor’s point of view, marketplaces is a much broader arena and the other areas where Schibsted operates today is of course also on the agenda: like financial services, e-commerce and distribution. In all these areas, Schibsted has experience and know how to grow and scale.

But whatever area Andrew and his team will look into, Schibsted vision and mission are key.

“It’s our guard rail and boundary. We will only invest in companies that are aligned with our values.”

In Schibsted, there is always this question of which language to speak when you meet people. We have quite a few people from different countries in the organisation and their names don’t always help. Kvålseth is very Norwegian – and yes, Andrew was born in Trondheim. But the family left for the US when he was only one year old. He has been back to Scandinavia on several other jobs in the past, and he’s been working in the US, Asia and the Middle East. He has, of course, had a good knowledge of Schibsted through his line of work – but also through some of our services.

“I use Finn a lot – and I actually read Aftenposten daily to learn more Norwegian, and stay informed.”

A complex company

Now he and his Norwegian wife have ended up back in Norway, after many years in Asia and the Middle East. While they enjoyed the time abroad, they started to think about where they wanted their children to grow up and have a more permanent “home”.

“We were in a position where we looked at the globe and asked ourselves where we wanted to live. Choosing the Nordics was a conscious decision – with its values, equality, open society and healthy lifestyle.”

So, many things with joining Schibsted were a match – even though he has learnt that Schibsted with all its different brands and divisions is a much more complex company than he first believed.

“From the outside, I was always impressed with Schibsted and the incredible success they have had at innovating, investing and reinvesting themselves. But it’s like I ate this awesome sausage, and then I saw how it’s made – it’s really complicated with so many brands and businesses. But that is also part of what makes it work so well.”

Ann Axelsson

Ann Axelsson
Senior Product Manager, Strategic Communications
Years in Schibsted: 23