Helena Stjernholm

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Helena Maria Stjernholm née Carlsson (born 1970)[1] is a Swedish business executive who since September 2015 has been CEO of Industrivärden, a major Swedish investment firm. She previously spent 17 years with IK Investment Partners where she latterly had responsibility for their Stockholm office.[2][3]

Early life and education

Born in 1970, Helena Stjernholm was brought up in the central Swedish town of Kristinehamn where she attended Källgårdsskolan and Södermalmsskolan before opting for technical secondary school subjects at Brogårdsgymnasiet. She then spent a year in the United States as an exchange student before completing her secondary education in Karlstad.[4][1] On matriculating, she took a year off, working as a replacement teacher and a healthcare assistant. She also spent four months in Austria, working in a hotel and enjoying the skiing.[1] She then attended Linköping University where in 1994 she earned a bachelor's degree in economics.[5] She then spent a year in Munich studying business administration and management at Ludwig Maximilian University[6] before returning to Sweden to study at the Stockholm School of Economics, earning an MSc in business administration, accounting and finance in 1997. While studying in Linköping, she met her husband Stefan Stjernholm with whom she has two boys.[7]


After working for Bain & Company as a consultant (1997–98), she joined the venture capital firm IK Investment where she worked for 17 years.[8] In 2015, she was appointed CEO of Industrivärden after Anders Nyrén left following an expenses scandal, no doubt because she was considered to be completely above board. Nevertheless, many were surprised by her move from a dynamic venture capital company into an investment firm with holdings in several of Sweden's largest listed companies. It turned out that her appointment reflected a change in strategy as Industrivärden decided to consider investing in small companies too. Stjernholm also serves on the boards of Handelsbanken, SCA, Skanska and SSAB.[7]

In March 2017, Veckans Affärer named Helena Stjernholm the most powerful Swedish businesswoman of the year. She said she was happy to have earned the title as it would inspire younger women to progress in business.[9] She had succeeded in achieving better results not only for Industrivärden but for their holding companies Volvo, SSAB and Sandvik. She recognized that one of the most difficult sectors for women to rise to the top was in fact finance.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Gustavsson, Oscar (3 February 2016). "Skulle bli ingenjör men tänkte om" (in Swedish). Kristinehamns-Posten. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  2. ^ "Helena Stjernholm". Volvo. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  3. ^ "Helena Stjernholm". Bloomberg. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  4. ^ Welin, Carina (28 August 2017). "Kristinehamn ligger Helena Stjernholm varmt om hjärtat" (in Swedish). Kristinehamn kommun. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  5. ^ "Kvinnliga LiU-alumner i näringslivets topp". Linköpings Universitet. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  6. ^ "Industrivärdens nya ägarmodell" (in Swedish). Affärs världen. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Hansson, Catharina; Hellström. "Helena Stjernholm – årets mäktigaste kvinna i näringslivet" (in Swedish). PfB Passion for Business. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  8. ^ "Helena Sjernholm". Sandvik. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  9. ^ Bederoff, Jill; Fjällborg, Ulrika; Uhlin, Åsa (6 March 2017). "Här är näringslivets 125 mäktigaste kvinnor 2017" (in Swedish). Veckans Affärer. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  10. ^ Uhlin, Åsa (6 March 2017). "Näringslivets mäktigaste kvinna 2017: Hon sätter press på Sveriges industrijättar" (in Swedish). Veckans Affärer. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 

External links

  • Helena Sjernholm at Industrivärden
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