Meet the team: CFO, Niklas Jaensson
28 september 2021
Niklas Jaensson has served as Immuneed’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since February 2021. We spoke to him about his background from pharmaceutical giants Biogen and
Q: You feel at home with the combination of finance and the development of a company within LifeScience, don’t you?
A: I do. I started my career as an auditor for seven years but always had the desire to work in a big company. In 2007 I was headhunted to the American pharmaceutical company Biogen as Finance Manager and as part of the Nordic Finance Team, where I stayed for 10 years. That was an exciting time, where the company grew from a small organization to a bigger one both financially and in manpower.
Q: You’re also a familiar face for Immuneed CEO Camilla Oldgren?
A: When I left Biogen, I joined the Japanese pharmaceutical company Kyowa Kirin and a similar challenge – building up the financial function for the fast-growing Nordic and Baltic market for more than two years. That’s where I met Camilla, and I chose to follow along when she began her journey at Immuneed. I started last fall as an interim consultant, but Camilla was clear from the start about wanting to employ me and I am now a proud member of the team.
Q: Why do you think you inspire that kind of confidence?
A: I’ve built up companies and financial departments, but I also have a particularly strong background in accounting. I’ve been on the other side of the table, as an auditor, so I know and understand what it’s like to be audited and what you have to deliver in order to be transparent. It’s key to understand why we need different tracking systems, an, to the business adapted financial set up, how to visualize and reflect the business in the best way and build realistic budgets and forecasts, i.e. really understand what´s behind the numbers. So, having this background is a very strong asset in my role as CFO.
Q: How has it been to leave large pharmaceutical companies for Immuneed?
A: Immuneed is an owner-steered startup, which means there are different challenges and opportunities than compared to those you have in big pharma. Above all, there’s an active board of directors and owners who are involved in a completely different way. We explain and present our financial strategic plans, what the numbers represent but also the daily impact they have on the cash flow in a more interactive way and gets directly valuable feedback and comments that we can implement. A tight dialogue and valuable collaboration between all parties. More than that, Immuneed is at a turning point, where there’s really an opportunity to become something bigger and more profitable. That’s truly exciting – even if it’s a big challenge.
Q: There’s also a strong science culture at Immuneed. Do you feel like you’re part of it?
A: The longer I’m here, the more of the scientific language I learn. I’m schooled in a sales and marketing environment, and we’re building a commercial status around Immuneed’s analytical work and know-how, so it requires a two-way understanding in order to get the best out of it. So there’s an exchange in both directions. I want them to know the basics of finance and accounting, just as they’re giving me a foundation in immunology. There are lots of financial terms that aren’t readily familiar to everyone in the team, but the numbers show why we run the company as we do. My efforts to explain them have been met with open arms. I’m also a curious person who wants to understand – what Immuneed actually does. I need to get into the blood, molecules, and antibodies, in order to get a holistic perspective of the company and thereby do my job well – i.e., really understand what´s behind the numbers.
Q: Why are you willing to spend that extra time for that exchange?
Being active in the whole company and its development is important to me. That’s part of the fun in going from the big to the small – having the chance to interact and influence the growth and development, make it to something big in the future. Immuneed is on an interesting journey that I want to be a part of because the potential here is enormous.
Sofia is responsible for the commercial operations at Immuneed, with a strong focus on strategic marketing & customer excellence. Previously, she worked as Customer Success Manager for a technical software startup and brought her strong knowledge in customer relations management and digitalization with her to Immuneed. She graduated from the University of Gothenburg with a Master's degree in Business Creation and Entrepreneurship in Biomedicine.