Halla Tomasdottir: Making Money with “Feminine Values”

December 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

Halla Tomasdottir and her business partner decided to start a financial services firm based on “feminine values,” Audur Capital, in Iceland in 2007.  Amazingly, she says that the firm and its investors took no equity losses during the recent financial storm in Iceland.  She attributes this investment savvy to four values:

– Risk Awareness – “don’t invest in things we don’t understand”

– Straight Talking – talk about potential downsides and upsides

– Emotional Capital – conduct “emotional due diligence”: “Whether the corporate culture is a liability or an asset”

– Profit with Principles: take a long-term view that includes positive social an economic outcomes

Most important, she says, is “embracing the beauty of balance.”  “It’s not about women being better than men, it’s about being different… we are not the same and it’s great.”  She emphasized the importance of diversity to reduce herd behavior: “sameness leads to disastrous problems.”

Her financial predictions:

1. “There is an incredible urge to rebuild the [institutions] that failed us” and prompted the current economic recession; we must do things differently if we want to avoid the mistakes of the past

2. The “most interesting investment opportunities” are arising at the intersection of women and sustainability.

For more on Halla Tomasdottir and Audur Capital: http://www.audurcapital.is/english

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