The word “institutionalized” can be intimidating to some. It cues rigidity, policy, procedure, regulation — all the elements which (accurately or not) tend to imply bureaucratic obstacles to innovation — especially in the context of a rapidly growing, nimble VC. But financial management of the venture ecosystem — and the emerging funds within it — is not so black and white. In fact, institutionalizing certain aspects of a firm creates a stronger organization, lends additional structure, and ensures that everyone plays by the rules. What’s even more intriguing: there are multiple ways to approach institutionalizing a VC fund by balancing the elements that support financial health, equitable practices and organizational integrity.
Back to the Beginning
I was born and raised in Sweden. After completing my MBA in finance, I started as an associate in investment banking at Credit Suisse, where I grew to take on responsibility for Strategic Planning, as well as all corporate mergers and acquisitions. After Credit Suisse, I joined Deutsche Bank as VP of Strategic Planning and Business Development, creating the business plan and building the P&L for the company’s co-branded brokerage solution. Just prior to joining TMV, I served as Director of Finance and Operations at Everside Capital Partners — a leading RIA — where I built the infrastructure to support the firm’s essential operations.
The decades I spent learning and working across the institutional financial landscape gave me both the hands-on and leadership experience to enter a new sector from a new perspective, as Chief Financial Officer of TMV. I had learned (in intricate detail) how to build out the infrastructure for both VC and private equity, and in doing so gained deeper insight into analytics, strategic planning, project management, forecasting, valuation models, and expense management — each, when executed effectively, are incredibly valuable, productive and long-established processes that work. Since joining TMV, one of my most exhilarating challenges has been to tailor these processes to a fast-moving firm backing next-level innovators at the earliest stages.
When I first arrived at TMV late last year, I was blown away by the ideas I heard on investment calls: the cutting-edge tech shifting the course of industries, platforms authentically seeking to create a better world and making it happen. I love the work I have done in my career thus far. At TMV, I couldn’t be prouder to use my institutional experience to build a solid shell around a robust existing structure, and develop new solutions for effective financial operations across each of TMV’s current funds, and those to come.
On a personal level, TMV aligns with my own system of beliefs, namely that we can do well and do good, achieve profit and impact. This approach is not new, but it’s still remarkably refreshing to be part of a community who genuinely champions it and approaches every deal, every dollar, with a recognition that the best decisions are made by diverse groups of people.
I continue to be driven on a daily basis by the game-changing ideas, business models and services that cross TMV’s path each day. Most of all, I’m looking forward to growing what TMV has built, and in doing so, to help take the firm, and the portfolio companies we invest in, even farther.
Written by Alexia Kalfas