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May 27, 2021

In this episode of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, we were delighted to welcome Christian Nilsson, the CFO for the ABB Electrification business. 

“The more diverse the crowd you spend your life with, the wider your learning ought to be.”

Christian joined Paul Toms, our Founder, via a video call, which has become the norm for communicating across the business world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paul kicked off the conversation by asking whether Christian has taken any positive learnings from the past year. Although it has been an incredibly difficult year in many ways, Christian has found that the new ways of working can have a positive impact both professionally and personally.

Having worked across a range of countries within the business transformation field, Christian explains the three components that have been key to his success. Trust and empowerment within his teams are top of the list. It’s unsurprising that Christian also values diversity of mindset, which taught him a lot when based in the USA, China and European countries.

Although he spent a “tonne of time” travelling around the world pre-COVID, life has changed a lot since then. One thing that hasn’t changed for Christian is the way that he prioritises his day. After hearing about Christian’s focus on his team, it’s no surprise that people are top of his list in a typical working day.

Finding good people for his team is one of Christian’s greatest challenges, but he believes that it’s also the most powerful result when you get it right. He tells Paul which traits are most difficult to find when recruiting.

Looking at how the Finance function may change in the future, Christian explains how we must find and use data to improve decision-making. But will people within Finance teams be treated more like machines than humans if decisions are based on data? Christian is confident that we may actually have more time to focus on people and personalities if Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can harvest the data we need.

Although Christian didn’t wake up one day and know that he wanted to spend his life in Finance, he feels lucky to have worked for companies that place Finance close to the business and decision-making. If you’re looking to become a Chief Financial Officer in the future, he ends with some advice on grasping opportunities and experiences to expand your scope.

You can listen to the full episode below:

This episode is also available on your preferred podcast platform or by following this link:

If you’re looking for a particular part of the episode, use the timestamps below:

01:22: How we’ve made technology work during the pandemic
04:49: The 3 keys to Christian’s success
08:56: Learning from diversity of mindset
12:53: Where Christian’s leadership fundamentals came from
15:13: How Christian prioritises his day
17:36: Why recruiting the right people is so hard
21:55: What took Christian into Finance?
24:42: Advice for CFOs of the future
33:43 How to connect with Christian


You can find Christian on LinkedIn by following this link: Connect with Christian


The EMEA Recruitment podcast is brought to you in partnership with Operation Smile, an international medical charity. We are hoping to make a worldwide impact and change lives through our partnership – help us reach our target of creating 100 new smiles by donating:


This episode was hosted by Paul Toms and Rose Jinks, our Senior Marketing Executive.

If you’d like to find out more about our recruitment services, please visit our website:

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If you’d like to suggest topics for future episodes of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please contact Rose: 


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