Meet the team: Anna Bernitz, Director of Legal & Compliance

Meet the team: Anna Bernitz, Director of Legal & Compliance

I am Anna Bernitz, the Director of Legal & Compliance at Innovestor. Before joining Innovestor I worked in a law firm for +6 years where I assisted clients in regulatory and compliance assignments within the financial sector as well as in cases related to general corporate counselling.

Additionally, I was lucky to get to be part of developing new business and participating in strategy work. Years as an attorney taught me a great deal of problem solving, effectiveness and value-adding thinking.

 

Compliance is crucial

If I had to describe my job with only three words, they would have to be: diverse, challenging and (suitably) chaotic.

My job is to make sure that we at Innovestor fulfil the legal requirements applying to us. Some of our group companies are supervised by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority, which increases the amount of applicable specific legislation we have to comply to.

Due to our versatile business areas, of which I get to support with all things related to legal and compliance matters, there are also a multitude of different kinds of agreements, minutes of meetings, contracts etc. which have to be drafted and terms be negotiated.

From a lawyer’s perspective you have to be a multitalent and tackle matters related to employment, data protection, corporate law, fund management, share issues, investment services, M&A, marketing, real estate, IP rights – you name it.

You need to be able to pick up the essential points quickly and make decisions under pressure based on imperfect information. It’s a demanding position but I’m enjoying the challenge. I also get to meet a lot of new people which is definitely one of the best parts.

 

Endorphin kicks to keep you going

I am an endorphin junkie which does not only relate to exercise. The same chemistry applies in work as well. Challenging myself, living up to expectations and even exceeding them gives me the same kicks. People with splendid ideas and a hunger to develop things and go forward, bring excitement for everyone else as well. It is motivating to see your actions helping someone else to achieve their goals.

When I’m not at the office, my Thursday evenings are dedicated to the Lain Huuto choir which is a beloved hobby of mine. It is scientifically proven that hearts of choir singers beat as one. It’s a great counterbalance for work. Jogging, tennis and yoga are also other essentials which keep me going.

 

Raising funding? Keep these due diligence factors in mind

Having worked with our portfolio companies, I’d advise entrepreneurs to keep the following points in mind when considering applying for funding:

1. Maintain at least an average due diligence readiness: Archive minutes of board meetings, employment agreements, commercial agreements etc. systematically in electronic format. It’s a lot of work to rapidly collect requested DD (due diligence) material if governance of company documents has not been taken care of very well.

2. Do not underestimate the power of a uniform layout and trimmed language – we all know first impressions are everything.

3. Risk management deserves attention. While risk is an integral part of entrepreneurship, it doesn’t have to get the better of you. No complex graphs and calculations are needed, pragmatic approach and common sense are sufficient if potential risks and their mitigation are given some thought.

4. Challenge the potential VC/investor! Find out if you really are a true match or not. Why should you choose exactly them? In addition to funding, what else is available (if any)? How can you benefit from the VC’s network? By challenging the VC you deliberately indicate you know your value and dare to demand outstanding performance, not only from your own team but from others as well.

 


This is a feature in our monthly ‘Meet the team’ series, where we hope you get to know us and our team better. Get to know our Director of Legal & Compliance, Anna Bernitz.

 

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