Lars Owe Berge Nyland is the Managing Director for Europe at Trintech. He joined Adra in 2014 as the Country Manager for Norway and took over as Adra’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in February of 2016. Lars was trained in the Norwegian Army as an officer where he studied electronics, specializing in IT-solutions. After the Army, he was given the opportunity to continue his career in the private sector. He has more than 20 years’ experience leading positions in both sales and marketing departments for IT, Retail, Telecom, and Finance industries.
Michelle: Hi Lars, it’s great to meet you. To start off, tell us how long you’ve worked in Finance and Accounting?
Lars: It’s nice to meet you too! Well, I’ve been in Finance for the last six years with Adra, and before that, I worked with retail, telecom, and IT. I’ve had many years’ experience in the sales and technology sides of many different industries.
Michelle: That’s fantastic! During that time, what positions have you held?
Lars: I’ve been a system engineer, sales engineer, adviser, sales and marketing manager, director of sales and marketing, Adra’s CEO, and now I’m the Managing Director for Europe for Trintech including Adra. Although I’ve moved from the technical side to the commercial side, a technical background has always helped me regardless of industry.
Michelle: That’s quite a list of positions. I’m sure that your vast expertise has always been very helpful. Would you mind telling our readers a bit about the beginnings of Adra?
Lars: I’d be happy to. Adra was founded in 1989 by an accountant who was convinced there must be an easier way to do bank reconciliations. The year after he got his first customer in Norway, he installed a DOS-based program to automate reconciliations. Since then it’s been a very exciting journey with geographical expansions, new products and technology, and new business models. Adra has been a leading provider in the Nordic region with an international footprint.
Michelle: How interesting! And since you were a key figure in the merger between Adra and Trintech, can you tell me what made you choose to ally with Trintech in 2017?
Lars: I was very excited when Trintech acquired Adra Software because it’s not often you get an opportunity like this. The merger with Trintech really gave Adra a greenfield opportunity to share our barely tapped, cutting-edge technology and modern business model with a new field of customers. I’ve always seen there is a great deal of competence and knowledge within Trintech, and I was pleased with its global strategy.
Michelle: That’s quite an endorsement. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. So we’re going to shift topics to learn a little more about your personal likes by having you answer a few “This or that” questions. Is that ok?
Lars: Yes, that’s fine.
Michelle: Rolling Stones or Beatles?
Lars: My musical preference hasn’t changed since 6th grade when I discovered the metal genre, but if I must pick it has to be The Beatles.
Michelle: Indoors or outdoors?
Lars: Definitively outdoors! I love autumn when it’s the hunting season.
Michelle: Tea or coffee?
Lars: Well, six months ago I would not hesitate to say coffee, but after moving to London with my family, I’m not that sure anymore. Still, the first coffee in the morning is amazing.
Michelle: I absolutely agree! Next question, Dogs or cats?
Lars: Dogs. I used to have a German Dachshund and an Irish Setter.
Michelle: Morning person or Night owl?
Lars: I’m a morning person, every day of the week.
Michelle: Coca-Cola or Pepsi?
Lars: Coca-Cola, but it must be Coke Zero.
Michelle: Rugby or (proper European) Football?
Lars: I would say football because that’s what I used to play when I was younger.
Michelle: Reading or writing?
Lars: I love to read books, although it’s difficult to find time with a busy schedule. So during the holidays, I get the chance to catch up.
Michelle: What is a great book you’ve read recently?
Lars: I’m currently reading a book called Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. In short, this book is about the shortcuts we take when evaluating information and making decisions.
Michelle: What is your favorite television show to binge-watch?
Lars: I rarely watch TV, but when I’m traveling or commuting, I watch a Netflix series such as Titans and Peaky Blinders.
Michelle: That’s interesting! Darren said Peaky Blinders as well. Maybe you two should chat about it! What is your favorite phone app?
Lars: I use apps all the time for everything, but if I must pick one, it has to be 1Password, a great app to organize and secure information.
Michelle: Personally, what are you most excited about in 2020?
Lars: It’s been busy for everyone in my family since we moved. We are currently renting a house in London, but we still have our home in Norway. I’m really looking forward to exploring the UK together with them.
Michelle: That sounds like an exciting time for your family to adventure together. If you don’t mind, I’d like to turn back to Adra for a few moments and what the future holds. I’m curious to know, what do you want Adra to be known for in the marketplace?
Lars: I want people to think of Adra as a trailblazer in the financial close market, changing the lives of accountants around the entire world!
Michelle: Professionally, what are you most excited about in 2020?
Lars: I’m very excited about how our product suite is evolving, new exciting partnerships, and all the great talent we have onboarded.
Michelle: Thanks so much for your time today, Lars! I learned so much about you, and now I have a new book and a new show to add to my queues!
Lars: Thank you! I really enjoyed our chat.