2020 Jens Due Olsen 003

“Getting used to a new world where digitalization is accelerating”, meet Jens Due Olsen, NGP Capital’s new advisor

| News, Europe

Jens Due Olsen brings an extraordinary background in business building to NGP Capital.

Jens has held a variety of positions on the boards of both large public companies and smaller, private-equity-backed companies typically with global operations, including Danske Bank, NKT, Nilfisk, and KMD. His executive experience includes a broad range of operating and financial management positions at Maersk, CFO at FLSmidth, CFO at Aston Group, Deputy CEO and CFO at GN Store Nord, and Interim CFO at Sivantos. In these roles, Jens worked a broad range of industries including banking, IT services, optical components, cables, hearing aids, and consumer products. He holds an M.Sc. in economics from the University of Copenhagen, was a Fulbright scholar in economics at UCLA in the US, and has worked in Tokyo, Singapore, New York, and London.

“I have spent half of my career in finance and investment, and half in operational roles. Over the years, I’ve been involved in financial, securities and risk management, business building and leading through change, and a range of consolidations, transformations, reorganizations and restructurings. I have been fortunate to work for good companies that have given me great opportunities.”

With the ability to provide both financial and operational advice to growth-stage companies, Jens bolsters NGP Capital’s services to portfolio company CFOs.

“At NGP Capital, I am most excited about helping young dynamic companies grow. I look forward to assisting the management teams at NGP Capital’s portfolio companies with their efforts to raise capital, scale production, recruit the right talent, and meet new challenges. I love the technology aspect of NGP Capital’s business, because much of it is disruptive and it does not necessarily work linearly. And I am excited about NGP Capital’s international nature; not many VCs can offer an advisor the opportunity to work across geographies in the way NGP Capital does.”

"I look forward to assisting the management teams at NGP Capital’s portfolio companies with their efforts to raise capital, scale production, recruit the right talent, and meet new challenges."

Jens has helped companies bring structure to their financial operations, especially as they grow. Recently, he played an important role as an advisor to Desmond Lim, the CFO of Heptagon, a provider of optical packaging and micro-optics, during their high-growth phase as they scaled to shipping in excess of two billion units, before they were acquired by ams AG. Jens hopes to share the lessons he has learned from these experiences with NGP Capital’s portfolio companies.

“The best piece of generic advice I can give to management teams of companies that are scaling fast is to make a good, solid business case. Even if it does not materialize, it will provide you with long-term guidance. Also, make sure you always have sufficient funding, and secure your funding in times when you don’t need it the most. Another important lesson is to be very specific about where you spend your money. Concentrate on the two or three things that matter the most. And stay open-minded, that is crucial for both personal and company growth.“

"The best piece of generic advice I can give to management teams of companies that are scaling fast is to make a good, solid business case."

As an experienced board member, Jens often serves as chairman. He believes that non-hierarchical structures and a good team spirit make for well-functioning boards. Jens also brings a set of ethical values to the companies on whose boards he sits.

“It’s important to me that the companies I serve have a good sense of ethical values, such as responsibility and transparency. I believe that businesses must be run in an ethically respectful manner in order to be able to bring real value beyond shareholder value. It’s about rational decision making and understanding the larger picture and environment in which we operate. We will have to get used to a new world order where digitization is accelerated. We will have to hedge our risks better; we cannot keep our eggs in one basket given the increasing political insecurity. I think that we will see a less US-dominated world in the future, and we will need to look more towards China.”

Finally, Jens believes that private companies cannot act as independent units but need to serve the greater good of society.

“We have significant climate challenges that we must face up to. During the recent lockdowns, we have seen with our own eyes just how much of an ecological imprint we are having just on air quality – with fewer cars on the road and fewer factories going, the air is visibly cleaner. I think the green movement will be strengthened by what we’ve been experiencing, as we look for new ways to meet our most pressing climate challenges.”

Jens, together with Marshall Lux in the US and former prime minister Esko Aho in Finland, are the most recent additions to NGP Capital’s group of advisors.