Kasper Svold Maagaard went from Analyst to Director in only 4 years at Deloitte Corporate Finance! In an exclusive interview, he shares some of the secrets to his success:
- Develop an ability to absorb complex information and communicate
- Prioritize your time
- Stay motivated
“Being productive means being able to absorb complex information quickly and turn it into relevant analyses for verbal and visual presentations”
According to Kasper, this is the very definition of productivity from his point of view. In corporate finance, presentations are a core part of the work – and especially when it comes to helping their clients present their business in the most attractive way. In his claim, he addresses important aspects such as the ability to understand information.
One of the way corporate finance adds value is the transformation of knowledge into verbal and visual presentations. In this fast-moving world of deadlines, there is very little time to be unproductive, especially in corporate finance where clients’ expectations are “exceptionally high” and the stake is always high.
When it comes to managing your time in corporate finance, a core aspect is knowing when to work hard. In many ways it is like hiking a mountain. Even though you want to get to the top as fast as possible, you cannot sprint all the way up – you need to adjust the pace and save energy for reaching the peak at the end.
The core is to use one’s capacities and capabilities in a smart way and spread the energy across fluctuations of the workload.
In business, it’s not unusual to see new hires putting in 80 hours/week from day one – just to prove themselves. However, according to Kasper, this can be dangerous. Instead, “when it is easy – take it easy” and save your energy for the peak periods.
Another of Kasper’s productivity tricks is to take on each task with the same degree of responsibility and seriousness, regardless of the nature of the task. As Kasper puts it:
“Being humble to the tasks you are doing, with high focus on details, while still being able to do things relatively quickly.”
But how do you remain motivated when times get though and you DO need to put in hard work. According to Kasper, the underlying motivational factors that help him stay focused are:
When you are good at what you do, you tend to increase your productivity automatically because you want to work. On top of that, positive feedback from clients and colleagues play a crucial part – being part of a team with a “rock star” reputation further increases the sense of purpose and boosts motivation.
Particularly for the newly joined in the corporate finance team, one of the most motivating part of the job is to see the hard work drive results, e.g. seeing the result of your hard work and the content of your slides on the cover of the newspaper. On top of that, most new employees experience a very steep learning curve that is very inspiring.
Having a group of hard-working and inspiring people around every day, encourages a positive and informal environment where everyone feels comfortable and does not hold back to ask for feedback or additional help. It should be fun to go to work and the colleagues around you are the most important factor for this.
It is clear that the hard work has paid off for Kasper. He is one of the rising stars in the Danish financial industry. The 29-year-old has managed to work his way up the career ladder in a short period from a financial Analyst to Director within Deloitte Corporate Finance. Kasper holds a MSc Finance degree from Aarhus University. Prior to working at Deloitte, Kasper co-founded and later sold an education startup in Aarhus. Kasper is part of the No-More Advisory Board.
Deloitte industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services with a network of more than 244,000 Deloitte professionals and industry specialists. Deloitte Corporate Finance provides M&A services and strategic advisory that help its clients pursue transactions in domestic and global markets as well as create and act upon opportunities for growth and long-term advantage. Deloitte Corporate Finance is one of the largest M&A advisors in Denmark and has advised clients on hundreds of deals. Read more on their website.