Meet Johan Dufvenmark – Gränges’ VP Group Treasury & Investor Relations

We met up with Johan Dufvenmark who is heading up the Group Treasury and IR department. Balancing the day to day liquidity and long-term loans as well as keeping our shareholders and investors informed and up to date about our business and prospects, is Johan’s responibility.

Johan, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background

I live north of Stockholm and have worked at Gränges since 2016. Today I am responsible for Group Treasury and Investor Relations, but before I started at Gränges I worked in various positions within Business Control and Treasury. Treasury is the most interesting area I ventured into so far. Almost everything we do in Group Treasury is forward looking, and the consequence of the wrong policy or process can be severe, but doing it right can give great benefits to the company. Except for Group Treasury I am also the father of three children.

So, why Gränges?

At first, I did not know much about Gränges, but what attracts me is that even if it is a small company, it is a global company. As an employee in Gränges you can really make a difference, I can see that when I meet people in various position in the company. Also, I think that we have a customer focus, which I hope we keep should the company continue to grow.

What does the Treasury and IR department do? What’s its scope/objective?

Group Treasury is a support function that has three main tasks:

Firstly, treasury provides financing to everything the Board and management decides, and do it as effective as possible. The task is to finance the group as cheap as possible, but still take no risk that we will not be able to acquire new financing when necessary. In short; short term financing is cheap, but there is a risk that we are not able to loan money tomorrow, on the other hand long money is expensive, so balancing the two is necessary. There is a variety of capital sources and we utilize many of them, for example short term credit lines, bank loans, commercial papers and bonds.

Gränges first MTN bonds traded on Nasdaq. Johan Dufvenmark ringing the bell.

The second responsibility is to make sure we have money and ability to pay the bills today, which is called cash management. Having a lot of cash is easy, but expensive, so in this area the challenge is to have just enough flexibility to meet all our obligations as a group.

Thirdly Group Treasury is responsible for all financial risks with in the group. In reality this means balancing the risks vs the cost for mitigating the risk, as if we would try to eliminate all risk that would be very expensive. If you aim to eliminate what you perceive as all risk, then you will eliminate the margin as well. We try to avoid that by having a humble approach to risk and risk mitigation.

Since September I am as well responsible for Investor Relations. It is very important to keep current and future shareholders informed of our business and the prospects. The best way to ensure we can continue to build Gränges as we envision is that we keep the shareholders trust. Ultimately, we rely on the owners for our capital needs.

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

Well, we do many things in Treasury. Last spring, we renewed all major loans, but right now I am trying to plan the Investor Relations functions work. Investor Relations function, that is me with good support from Lily Sun.

What do you like most about your job? What’s the best with working at Gränges?

I am fortunate to have a good team, working together with them and other colleagues in the Group doing everything a little better every day, that is why I go to work.

Are there any trends in Treasury you can tell us about?

Well, the most significant trend right now is green financing, which means financing related to sustainability. You can already today see a difference in price related to green compared to ‘normal’ financing, and this difference will increase over time. What is sought for is projects or assets that are sustainable, or will lead to a more sustainable society. Since lenders such as banks and pensions funds, but also ordinary funds you may invest in as a person, steer capital towards green projects, there is a possible future where companies not taking progress in the sustainability area seriously will have a problem to find financing.

If you could change one thing about working here, what would it be?

I would not like to change anything specific, rather I hope that we will continue to be a decentralized company with a strong customer focus.

And finally, what do you do when you’re not at work?

Usually things revolve around the kids’ sports, and trying to fit in dinner with friends. Recently I have started to play tennis with my wife which is very nice thing to do together.