On 1 September, Kristoffer Mattsson became the third generation to take over the helm as CEO of the Mattsson Group. In this role, he has become the bridge between the owner family and the companies in the Group, including UFAB. And he is always looking to the horizon.
“When we were children, we didn’t look at the fat content of the dairy products, we looked at who had produced the packaging,” explains Kristoffer Mattsson, CEO of the Mattsson Group.
This anecdote clearly reflects how the family business has always been part of Kristoffer’s life, through his grandfather who started FKAB and designed vessels, through summer jobs, up until the last five years when he joined the Group in earnest as a business developer.
“My previous job was at Handelsbanken, where I worked with foreign business affairs and risk management. The last few years have been an education, during which I have got to know the company from the inside through a range of projects. I had been working in a specialist role, but now I am becoming more of a generalist, which feels both challenging and rewarding.”
Kristoffer is taking over from Olle Axell, who will continue to act as a senior advisor to the family and as a Board member. Since taking up the position, Axell had the task, in addition to day-to-day operations, of taking the Group into the future and making preparations for the upcoming generational change. The company has long been owned by the Mattsson family, and the aim is for this arrangement to continue.
“During this time, in my role as owner representative and business developer, I was involved in starting up our youngest subsidiary, METS. We saw how expertise was moving around in the market, and our long history made it possible to tie this expertise to us. Our offering in the fields of environmental technology, automation and energy is also very timely.”
The Mattsson Group is made up of companies in a range of businesses, where the common denominators are a high level of technology and customers with high expectations. The parent company is small and lean, with the aim being for operations to be conducted through the subsidiaries. The previous work within the parent company’s board has been replaced instead by the subsidiaries having their own active boards.
“Dedicated board work in each company is providing vital flexibility, as well as other opportunities to bring in talented individuals from outside with specific sector knowledge, and I consider that this can have positive effects for the Group as a whole.”
Kristoffer’s two sisters, who both have careers outside the family business, can also now take part in the Group as board members.
“My sister Anna sits on the board of UFAB, while my youngest sister Maria has a seat on the board of Mattsson Fastigheter.”
Continuity and long-term approach in the subsidiaries
Kristoffer has always been very happy at the Group’s largest subsidiary, UFAB.
“I have never worked operationally at UFAB, other than a summer job when I was at secondary school. However, I have always appreciated the environment and contrasts,” says Kristoffer Mattsson.
Kristoffer will not have an operational role in the subsidiaries, but will instead act as the family’s representative and contribute where necessary to enable each employee to do their job.
“I’m always busy with day-to-day and operational activities, so my horizon is close. Kristoffer’s role is to keep that horizon open – in addition to lifting his gaze, he embodies all the history, which gives us perspective,” says Magnus Enarsson, CEO of UFAB.
The generational change is also contributing essential continuity and stability for the subsidiaries, Magnus Enarsson explains:
“Kristoffer has been evaluating and re-evaluating for a long time, and we can now continue to work on the basis of the vision and strategy for UFAB that we have developed alongside the Board. From an operational perspective, it is extremely valuable to have continuity in our work going forward, both internally, of course, and in particular for our customers and suppliers.”