Careers at Livingstone's Stockholm Office: An interview with Marcus Åström, Director

Livingstone offers it all – from accumulating knowledge to meeting impressive entrepreneurs and companies.

Livingstone’s Employee Spotlights are our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals we have from offices all over the globe. Looking to join Livingstone Partners? Take a look at what you can expect when joining our team!

Marcus Åström, Director at Livingstone Stockholm, is entering his 10th year with the firm. Not only does he consistently deliver exceptional results, but he also fosters a positive atmosphere in the office and towards clients, valuing social interactions as much as professional ones. He is a crucial piece of the puzzle contributing to the success of the Stockholm office.

How long have you been at Livingstone Partners? Can you talk a little bit about your background? How did you end up in M&A?

I started as an intern in January 2014 and was offered a full-time analyst position that same spring. After graduating from the Stockholm School of Economics, I worked for about a year as a stockbroker with focus on North American equities. It was an exciting job for sure, but I also gained an interest in working with “whole” companies and ownership strategies, rather than trading individual shares.

Why did you choose Livingstone? What expectations has Livingstone lived up to?

I have always enjoyed workplaces with slightly smaller teams, where culture and each individual becomes even more important. I’ll honestly admit that I wasn’t sold on M&A initially after having tried it at a significantly larger investment bank, so I started looking at boutique advisory firms. Since I had some friends who had previously done internships at Livingstone, I had heard good things about the company and the team. I had high expectations in terms of a lot of individual responsibility and being able to contribute in all parts of the transaction process, which turned out to be very true.

How has Livingstone impacted your career?

Apart from a number of gray hairs (which can certainly be positive when discussing the sale of an elderly gentleman’s life’s work…), I’ve had the opportunity to accumulate significant knowledge about transaction processes, as well as encountered a large number of impressive entrepreneurs and companies in many different industries, which has been both exciting and valuable both privately and workwise.

What was the most challenging deal you worked on and why?

As a junior, it was definitely the Blueair deal (sold to Unilever), which was a large and complex transaction with a majority of prospective buyers being international firms. In recent years, I have worked a lot with consulting companies, where there is often a group of majority owners and a long list of smaller shareholders, which can sometimes create divergent ownership dynamics and different agendas, which takes a lot of versatility from us as advisors to handle.

What is your most memorable moment working at Livingstone?

My trip to Shanghai for a site visit and final negotiation of a deal is up there. The numerous trips to our US offices have all been memorable. The list can of course be extended with less proud (albeit memorable) moments as well – for instance when I sang karaoke standing on a table on a boat in Germany, in front of the whole company.

What do you consider to be a successful deal and why?

The most important thing we have is our brand and our reputation, so when a customer comments after a completed deal how satisfied he/she is with our efforts and the end result, you know that the deal was successful and that Livingstone will be recommended as an advisor in the future.

Share any advice you have to someone considering joining Livingstone 

M&A can be different depending on which company you end up with. If you believe that M&A is intriguing, but might be hesitant about pursuing a career in M&A (which I was), then my advice is to give Livingstone a try! As a junior, you will be treated as an important part of the team from day 1 and will constantly be challenged and expected to deliver, both internally and in customer-facing situations.

“As a junior, you will be treated as an important part of the team from day 1 and will constantly be challenged and expected to deliver, both internally and in customer-facing situations.”

Marcus Åström

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I spend an unhealthy amount of time on the golf course with my friends. In addition, I try to fit in some tennis, traveling and going to concerts.

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