The Wise Viking’s Daughters

In 2007, Halla and her busi­ness part­ner, Kristin Peturs­dot­tir, co-founded Audur Cap­i­tal to bring greater diver­sity, social respon­si­bil­ity, and “fem­i­nine val­ues” to the finan­cial ser­vices industry.

Do you know what Audur means?

Audur was an early Viking set­tler, known as “Audur the Wise”, whose moniker sig­nifies wealth, hap­pi­ness, and clear space.

You may have seen Halla Tomas­dot­tir already. Remem­ber, she was the woman with red shoes giv­ing this “for­mi­da­ble” talk at TED­Women last Decem­ber. If you haven’t seen her on stage, take 20 min­utes to watch this Islandic woman on fire!

Audur Cap­i­tal, the uniquely female-focused cap­i­tal com­pany in Ice­land is beat­ing the credit crunch due, at least in part, to their fem­i­nine approach to busi­ness, the com­pany believes. Read more

In a fur­ther sign of demo­graphic change in Iceland’s finan­cial mar­kets, it has been revealed that the heads of both New Glit­nir and New Lands­banki will be female.

One does not need to be a woman to work at Audur, but the com­pany founders are women and the vast major­ity of staff mem­bers are too. Since gain­ing its oper­at­ing licence in April this year, Audur has con­cen­trated on a debt-free, long-term busi­ness style – in other words a female busi­ness style, the com­pany argues. Read more

Halla Tomas­dot­tir believes that women’s val­ues are key to solv­ing Iceland’s eco­nomic crisis.

These val­ues include:

  • independence
  • risk aware­ness
  • straight talk
  • emo­tional capital,
  • profit with principles.

And Audur’s approach appears to be work­ing. The invest­ment firm’s inno­v­a­tive offerings—such as the national green-tech invest­ment fund they set up with pop icon and home­girl Björk—may just help save bank­ing in Iceland.

Halla began her career in cor­po­rate Amer­ica, work­ing for heavy­weights like M&M/Mars and Pepsi-Cola. Back home, she helped cre­ate a foun­da­tion and the exec­u­tive edu­ca­tion and women entre­pre­neur­ship pro­grams at Reyk­javik Uni­ver­sity. Halla later became man­ag­ing direc­tor of the Iceland’s Cham­ber of Com­merce; she left her post to start Audur.

A per­fect illus­tra­tion for the Pio­neer –Main­tainer dilemna, embrac­ing change with  prag­ma­tism, risk aware­ness, emo­tional intel­li­gence and wisdom.

Halla Tomas­dot­tir and Kristin Peturs­dot­tir might well be the daugters (or “dot­tir”) of Audur The Wise!

True role mod­els for NOW Lead­er­ship

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