Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce’s new board member Christian Lagerling has reason to sound happy. His company GP Bullhound is Europe’s leading investment bank focusing on advice concerning mergers and acquisitions, and earlier this year it was short listed by M&A Magazine for the “Boutique of the Year” award 2007 – an award that recognizes the achievements of the most active dealmakers.
“I have an amazing view here!” says Christian Lagerling on the phone from his new office space at One Maritime Plaza in San Francisco. “And the sun is shining!”
Although Lagerling isn’t exactly new to Northern California, just recently he put down his roots a bit more permanently there.
“I was shuttling between London and San Francisco quite a bit before that,” he explains. Lagerling was born and grew up in central Stockholm, studied law and economy at Stockholm University, and came to London in the summer of 1997 for an internship with the OM Group. Remaining in the British capitol, he worked for different investment banks, such as BZW and Barclays Capital, where he provided balance sheet optimization strategies for the corporate finance advisory group and authored in-depth credit research reports. Lagerling also worked in the management consulting industry as an IT research analyst for the Connecta Group in Stockholm. In 1999 he founded GP Bullhound with fellow Swede Per Roman.
“I’d been entrusted with some money, and both Per and I were interested in the technology industry, so we decided it was time to do something together,” he says. “San Francisco was the obvious choice for location, what with Silicon Valley around the corner and big buyers within the technology sector like Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and the like.”
Friends in Stamford helped Lagerling and Roman get started, and soon GP Bullhound was taking off. It has now completed over 60 mergers and acquisitions and private placement transactions, and it has offices in both London and San Francisco. GP Bullhound’s services include helping early stage companies to raise risk capital (so called venture financing), and advising companies and their shareholders when to sell (known in the business as M & A sell side advice).
Lagerling enjoys the success.
“I live in Marin with my wife and two kids. I have my office downtown, so it’s a nice commute,” he says. “On weekends there’s tennis and soccer and skiing in Tahoe. Apart from that we also travel a great deal as a family - my wife is Brazilian so we go there, and of course we also visit Sweden.”
What’s next for the busy Swede?
“We will take a mini sabbatical this summer and sail around the world.”
Favorite San Francisco spot: Tadish Grill
Three words to describe himself: Ambitious, adventurous, and positive. (And I don’t take myself too seriously.)
Reads: Right now mostly travel literature.
Last seen film: Some in-flight movie, I think it was “Michael Clayton”.
And the next President will be: I think it will be Barack Obama. People want something new.
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