NEW GROUP CFO KNOWS HOW TO STEADY THE SHIP

7.4.2021

Tommi Holopainen (M.Sc., Econ.) has been appointed Group Chief Financial Officer as of 15 March. He brings a wealth of qualifications and broad international experience from all areas of the CFO function.

Tommi Holopainen is a seasoned financial professional with a solid background from the telecom and IT industry. His broad finance experience covers both public and private corporations, governance and M&A. He also has a successful track record of leading major international finance operations, for instance in Sweden, Russia, Turkey and Nepal. It was the international atmosphere that attracted him to Black Donuts in the first place.

– I did not know much about Black Donuts in advance. The discussions with the group management and the board formed a clear picture of a genuinely global company in a very interesting market. The potential for value creation is significant.

During his first weeks at Black Donuts, Holopainen dived deep into the corporate strategy and learned a great deal about the tire industry. After working hands-on in governance and compliance, he prefers having a structured approach to aligning financing with business objectives.

– It is extremely important to understand the big picture.

Also regarding his own area of responsibilities, Holopainen enjoys an outsider perspective.

– Seeing and evaluating things from outside the sandbox is rewarding. It will be exciting to see which themes emerge for further exploration.

In the broad field of corporate finance, the new CFO has a clear number one passion: the financial health and long-term sustainability of a company.

– A sound structure, healthy financing and good relations with shareholders and financiers provide a basis for a strong and resilient business. That, in turn, enables sustainable growth and development.

Another important theme is liquidity. The cash flow has to be positive.

– Before the business can prosper in the long term, it also has to survive in the short term.

Possessing the mindset of public companies, Holopainen definitely has relevant experience and skills for optimizing companies like Black Donuts for sustainable growth. Still, he emphasizes that there are no one-size-fits-all tools in financing.

– In the listed companies, everything is highly structured and disciplined. It might feel tempting to apply the same practices everywhere, but the measures have to fit the operating environment. You cannot use a cannon to kill a fly.

In terms of Black Donuts’ recent IFRS transition, it was all set when the new CFO joined the team. Yet, he promises to find more things to develop.

– The fortunate thing about accounting and finance is that you can always improve.

What about personal areas of development? Is there anything more to learn at this point of a robust career?

– Different institutions, company structures, and financing options are extremely interesting and you can always learn more. You never get too good there.

Even in his free time, Holopainen frequently takes new challenges. After qualifying as an inshore skipper and an international judge in waterskiing, the plan is to gain a coastal skipper certificate next. Luckily, the first work project will be plain sailing for the seasoned CFO.

– Preparing the financial statement. It is a great way of onboarding.