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Karl-Adam Bonnier's life and entrepreneurial journey captured in new book

May 24, 2024

On May 23rd, Karl-Adam Bonnier’s book, En ny tid – Livet som finansiell entreprenör, was released. It’s a personal book of his upbringing, his parents Tor and Tora Bonnier, his high school and college years in the USA, his service in the American military, and how his career as an entrepreneur began with the sale of premium bonds. He also shares the initiation of the Karl-Adam Bonnier Foundation, aimed at supporting Swedish entrepreneurship and making a broader impact.

This year, financial entrepreneur and the foundation’s founder Karl-Adam Bonnier celebrates his 90th birthday. In his newly released autobiography, he offers reflections on a long and eventful life.

“At first, the book was meant to focus on my professional life and intended as a purely private read, primarily for my grandchildren. I wanted to share with them what I was up to during 20 years of my career and give them a picture of who I was, and became, through my work. But my publisher urged me to also provide a bit more background about myself, and about the experiences that shaped me,” Karl-Adam begins.

From 1962 to 1986, Karl-Adam Bonnier spearheaded the development of his financial companies during a transformative era in Swedish finance. This period saw an explosion in stock trading, the normalization of stocks and stock transactions, the introduction of new services like leasing and factoring, and significant deregulation and restructuring within the banking sector.

“It was simply a new era. I got to experience and participate in the transformation and grow and evolve alongside the companies. It was a job that started off a bit unsteadily with a curious part of the premium bond market and ended with two IPOs, Independent Leasing and B&B Finans ,” Karl-Adam recounts.

Karl-Adam emerged as a leading figure and was instrumental in shaping the financial landscape. In the book, he recounts the atmosphere prevailing as Sweden’s financial world and banking system underwent transformation. The sale of his financial conglomerate in the mid-80s became the economic cornerstone and starting point for the foundation’s activities.

“I didn’t want the Swedish adventure to end when I sold my B&B. That’s why I created the foundation together with Gunnar Nord, with a focus on corporate governance. The ambition was to support Swedish entrepreneurship and make a difference in a broader context,” Karl-Adam continues.

Since then, the foundation has evolved, and today it is an established arena for initiating change and promoting business development.

“For almost 40 years, the Karl-Adam Bonnier Foundation has provided a platform for constructive dialogue and knowledge exchange, awarded university scholarships to students, funded research, and released publications. It’s something that I’m truly proud of,” concludes Karl-Adam.

The book, En ny tid – Livet som finansiell entreprenör, is published by Max Ström Publishing and was launched at Nedre Manilla on May 23, 2024, in the presence of Karl-Adam, his family, and friends.

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