Interview with Marcus Plyhr – Portfolio Manager, Norron
Tell us about yourself
I have a background in sports and alpine skiing. Thanks to my skiing, I got a scholarship in the US where I did my finance degree. I started my career in finance as an analyst at a venture capitalist firm during my final year at university. After I had finished my degree, I stayed in the US for a year working for a hedge fund.
What attracted you to the finance industry?
Since my A-levels, I have been interested in business and finance. It’s a very dynamic industry that’s constantly changing and evolving. During my first year at university, I decided that I wanted to work in finance. In this field, you need to be driven and hungry for success, which I am, hence I find it very stimulating.
After my year in the US working for a hedge fund, I felt it was time to return to Sweden. I started applying for jobs in banking and contacted people I knew who were working there. I had met Ulf Frykhammar, CIO and founder of Norron, on several occasions in the summers when I was working at a petrol station in the archipelago near this summer house, and he said that they were looking for a analyst. I thought it sounded very interesting and they were willing to give me a chance. Luckily, I might add, since I am very happy that I decided to go for Norron rather than any of the other job offers I had. Norron is a small company and therefore more agile than the big fund managers, and this appeals to me. The experience and knowledge the fund managers possess is impressive. During the last year, Norron has grown considerably and I would struggle to find a better workplace. At Norron, you are exposed to many different aspects of the business and have the opportunity to work within risk, analysis or fund management.
Tell us about your role?
Since I was the first junior employee at Norron, my work has been very varied. I started as an assistant to the fund managers where I supported the equity team with daily tasks such as portfolio analysis, equity analysis and risk analysis. During the last year I have been more involved and been working more closely with the fund management team which has meant greater mandate and more responsibility, a role which I have grown into successively. Since this summer (2018) I am responsible for Norron Select, one of Norron’s hedge funds which focuses on long/short equity.
What personal traits do you have that help you in your role?
I learn new things quickly and I am very adaptable. In fund management you are never perfected but there are always more things to learn, and I like that. If you look at my investment style that I have developed over the past years, I have a very active approach, both when it comes to fundamental analysis and the positions. I would also say that I am more fleet-footed than most and have a good understanding of firms’ business model. It’s also extremely important not to let a bad day affect you too much but always stay positive.
What’s the most important trait for your role?
In addition to what I have already mentioned, it’s very important to be accurate. Things cannot go wrong when you handle other people’s money.
What do you like the most with Norron?
Everyone at Norron is very professional and good at what they do. They make sure you constantly learn new things and develop.
What makes Norron stand out?
There is no hierarchy and it is very unpretentious. Norron is a company that wants to move forward and be at the forefront of this industry.