Peter Elam Håkansson: A long-term love affair
By Oonagh Leighton
Peter Elam Håkansson has had a long love affair with the countries of central and southeast Europe. He says that reading about the history of the region sparked his initial interest. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 he packed a few belongings and went to explore these countries. What he saw there excited him and he immediately recognized the investment opportunities. Returning from holiday he began to ponder the ways of getting more involved in the region. At that time he was working as global head of research at Enskilda Securities in Stockholm. Håkansson soon recognized that if he wanted to realize some of the potential of these markets he would have to move to focus purely on them. This led to the formation of East Capital Asset Management in November 1997, with Håkansson as a founding member. The company’s aim was to focus exclusively on eastern Europe and to offer specialized management and financial advisory services to financial and strategic investors in these markets.
Håkansson says that while travelling in the Balkans he has met some fascinating people. He says that running a successful company in the years of war and deprivation takes a certain kind of spirit and courage.