The Techwork: Christopher Conradi, FSN Capital Partners
Christopher Conradi is chief digital officer at FSN Capital Partners.
Conradi began his career at IBM where he spent four years as a technical sales specialist within the IBM Software Group. He moved to Google in 2013 where he was country manager, Google Cloud, Norway, for six years. In this role, Conradi started and headed up Google’s Cloud business in the country, until he moved over to his current CDO role at FSN Capital. Conradi has a bachelor’s degree in information technology from Oslo and Akershus University College, as well as a master of business and IT from Australia’s Bond University.
Conradi joined FSN Capital in 2019 when private equity began seeking tech expertise outside its own talent pool. “It’s been a wild ride transitioning from Google to the private equity industry,” he says.
During his first 18 months at the firm he implemented DealCloud as a new CRM system and moved the firm’s entire office stack to the cloud. “I also built an intranet from scratch using Confluence, as well as rethought things such as security, work from home policies and more,” he explains. “It’s been a busy year to say the least!”
Having spent that period building a baseline foundation for FSN, Conradi feels the firm is now in a position to think more long-term. “This is where the fun begins,” he says. Conradi is currently focusing on three main areas. First, is building a data and analytics platform to quantify FSN’s investments, decisions and processes. “By doing this, we can match real life results with our previous decisions,” he explains. “This can feed back to future decisions, making us a learning organisation.” Second is rethinking the firm’s internal and external reporting. “We want to fully automate this process and allow our stakeholders to pull data from us in the format and manner they want,” he says. Third, is doubling down on the firm’s security efforts. “This is an area I feel the industry as a whole needs to take far more seriously,” he adds.
While DealCloud and Confluence make up the bulk of FSN’s core infrastructure, the firm also uses Microsoft Office 365 for productivity, Zoom for video and Slack for instant messaging. Conradi explains FSN believes in picking best-in-breed and changing providers often. “It keeps us learning and updated on what the latest technology offers,” he says. “Today, some of our deal teams use Trello to organise their projects. But next month, we might try something else. Technology is personal - let people pick the phone they want, the laptop they want and the software tools they want. It’s a bit more challenging on the back end, but you end up with happier, more productive, more empowered employees.”
While official PE tech-networking is still in its early stages, Conradi explains he engages a lot with the rest of the PE industry. “I’ve got a say - more so than I did in my old techindustry job,” he adds. “We are part of a global PE alliance, which shares freely among each other. I sit on multiple customer boards for solutions we have and talk regularly to peers in my market, both locally, but also in other parts of the world. There aren’t many techies in this industry, so I think we all feel it’s good to discuss topics which concern all of us.”