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Fostering Inclusion in the Academic and Business Worlds
With a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, Frode Strand-Nielsen (BA ’80) has made significant contributions to the SFU community. Before founding a top Northern European investment firm, he has honed his leadership skills as an international student-athlete at SFU.
Frode’s success in the business world is guided by a strong sense of compassion. His generous gift to SFU has helped establish various awards for SFU students, including financial support for the Knud George Pedersen International Graduate Students Fund Endowment. Created in honour of President Emeritus Dr. Knud George Pedersen, the endowment aids international graduate students with unforeseen or unmet expenses.
Enhancing the educational experience of international graduate students supports Frode’s goal of fostering global perspectives at SFU and beyond.
“Just being able to take people from different corners of the world and put them on that mountain for four years together—that will really bridge understanding among different nationalities,” he says.
To Frode, inclusion does not only enrich the learning experience, but also yields better business outcomes.
“There is actually a lot of good research that says that diverse teams make better decisions than homogenous teams,” says Frode.
“If you’re going to build a culture that radiates trust, you need values, and values are just codified behavior,” he says. “People know that we are people of character and integrity. If you build a foundation of trust, the right people want to come and work for you.”
His private equity firm, FSN Capital, is grounded in strong values and ethical practices. The firm mandates ethical responsibility throughout its supply chain, ensuring that all functions uphold safe work places, institute fair wages, respect human rights and care for the environment.
During the pandemic, Frode currently splits his time safely between his home and office. He looks forward to the opportunity to return to British Columbia to ski, cycle and connect with friends.
“I’m a very proud alumnus of SFU and I always will be,” Frode says. “As soon as it’s safe to travel, I’ll be on a plane and I’ll come visit you.”
Frode’s philanthropic contributions to SFU extends beyond international graduate students. His other initiatives include awards for female student-athletes made in honour of President Emeritus Andrew Petter and Maureen Maloney, professor of public policy; and international undergraduate student support in honour of James Dean, professor emeritus of economics who passed away in February 2019.
The original story was published by SFU Advancement and Alumni Engagement.
“There is actually a lot of good research that says that diverse teams make better decisions than homogenous teams.”
Frode Strand-Nielsen (BA'80), donor of the Knud George Pedersen International Graduate Students Fund Endowment
Vist SFU Advancement and Alumni Engagement to learn about ways to give.