CEO Today Europe Awards 20 CEO Today Europe Awards 2018 DENMARK BO NILSSON CEO of nets FIRM PROFILE When Bo Nilsson joined Nets in May 2013, the company, in his view, had a significant potential for accelerating growth. It was time to take Nets from Good to Great, and when he took over the corner office in 2014, Bo and his leadership team embarked on a journey of transformation which would make the Nordic payment specialist more customer and market-oriented, and not least more streamlined. As a testament to this transformation, the company’s operational performance has increased significantly, with an increase in the company’s EBITDA b.s.i. margin from 23% in 2013 to 36.7% in 2017. At the same time, Nets has managed to solidify its position as a leading Nordic payments processer and merchant acquirer, creating value for its shareholders while launching several new innovative payment solutions, notably within e-commerce, mobile payments, instant payments, PSD2 and anti-fraud. Innovation has been key in Nets’ transformation, and Bo made sure to give ‘Great Ideas’ centre stage when he shared his new ambitious strategy with his team in late 2015. Only a few months later, the company’s Digital Lab saw the light of day with a view to trying out emerging technologies such as biometrics, virtual reality and blockchain. In 2017, the lab matured into the independent innovation business, Smart Payments, which enables Nets to push out a steady stream of easy, intuitive and customer-oriented solutions that build on unmatched connectivity. Nets’ finger vein scanning solution is a perfect illustration of the work carried out at Nets’ innovation incubator. The biometric solution allows consumers to pay by inserting their finger into a finger vein scanner, which then authenticates the payer and authorises the transaction. Another example is the blockchain-based micropayments solution that enables media outlets to monetise low-value items. A third example is the My Payments app which gives Nets’ merchant customers a quick, data-driven overview of their business with anonymised statistics on customer behavior, peak hours, customers’ countries of origin, loyalty and so on. The app is currently available to Finnish, Danish and Norwegian merchants. A key role in the Nordic payments ecosystem The Nordics have led the way in the development of digital payments and related services and is themost digitised region in Europe. Nets has played a key role in this development by shaping a new digital reality based on innovation, stability and security. Bo and his team have kept a tight focus on making it even easier and more intuitive for merchants, banks, businesses and consumers to handle digital payments which has made Nets a trusted and reliable partner to more than 300,000 merchants, including 30,000 online merchants, over 240 banks and more than 240,000 enterprises across the Nordic and Baltic regions. Handling billions of transactions annually, Nets is the second-largest payments processor in Europe. The company has invested substantially in new data centers and network segregation, and in 2017 Nets boasted a 99.98% uptime on its platforms. The ability to deliver unrivalled levels of security and stability is at the very core of Nets’ daily operations, handling some of themost critical IT infrastructures in the Nordic region. A strong Nordic presence with European ambitions While maintaining a strong Nordic focus, Nets has also pursued European growth opportunities during Bo’s leadership. Already in 2016, the company sold its real-time clearing solution, RealTime24/7, to ICBPI in Italy; in 2017 the solution was sold to Bankart in Slovenia and in 2018 to GIRO in Hungary. The solution works as a single processing engine, servicing the full value chain for all types of account-to- account-based payments, both instant payments and non- urgent payments. With the solution, the clearing is carried out in just 0.02 seconds. As part of the streamlining of the business, Bo and his Executive Board in 2016 decided to divide Nets into three customer-facing segments: Merchant Services, Financial & Network Services and Corporate Services. With an appetite for Nordic growth, Bo and his team consolidated Nets’ Finnish position within merchant acquiring in 2017 with the completion of the acquisition of

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