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From MBA to results

AVT StoriesExecutive MBA

From MBA to results

Magnus Vagtborg

CEO, Crossbord ApS
  • Graduated Cand.Merc.(jur.) and Cand.Jur, and Executive MBA from AVT Business School (2019)
  • Since 2015, has been the owner and CEO of the company Crossbord (formerly United Tax
    Network – Denmark)
  • Crossbord provides tax, social security and compliance advice and services to companies with staff working across borders
  • Crossbord’s customer portfolio primarily covers large global, Danish and international companies

From MBA to results

Magnus Vagtborg is today the owner of Crossbord ApS – However, it was unforeseen circumstances that overnight threw Magnus from an expert role into a dedicated leadership role – a role he was later able to successfully take on with an Executive MBA from AVT Business School. This would prove to be a game changer for both Magnus and the company’s performance.

Moving forward despite unforeseen circumstances

In 2014, Magnus was in his fifth year as a tax advisor. May 14th was like any other day, but with the significant difference that the day started with the announcement that the then owner had unfortunately passed away suddenly during the night. Suddenly, the company was without an owner and management. The need for leadership was necessary, and as one of the “elders” of the company, Magnus stepped in as interim leader of the company. As Magnus explains:
“It was of course an incredibly sad story about the sudden death of our then owner and leader. It affected us all very much, especially because it came out of the blue and he was only 49 years old. Despite the amount of uncertainty, it was decided together with the family and the executor that I should make an attempt to continue the business,” he says.

It quickly became apparent that running a business compared to working as a tax expert were two very different worlds, each requiring a solid toolbox, because as Magnus explains:
“I have a degree in Cand.Merc.(jur.) and have specialized in tax law. When I took on the role of CEO, I quickly realized that I lacked some management skills and tools. This was especially frustrating as I had a perception of myself as a natural leader. After a series of small courses, my motivation really kicked in. This led me to take a closer look at the range of courses and programs on offer, and that’s when I came across AVT Business School,” he says.

In 2017, Magnus started the first CBA in what would turn out to be an Executive MBA at AVT Business School. By this time, he had taken over the company as sole owner and was entering a busy work period, both dedicated to his studies and working as owner-manager and CEO. He says that although it was a tough time, it was worth it because the results showed as he completed his education. Magnus elaborates that it was the right decision for him to pursue an MBA, as the results could be seen directly on many bottom lines.
“I was originally planning to “only” do a CBA, but I quickly changed my mind because the subjects and problems we worked on contained so many answers to problems I had and was about to have. In addition, there was an unexpected benefit to being absent from the company. It gave me time for reflection and time to work on the strategic and managerial role that is often forgotten in everyday life. “Two factors in particular have made a huge difference for me in my daily work,” he says and continues:

“Firstly, it gave me a lot on a human level. I’ve worked in management groups before, but this went much deeper and gave me tools that made me better able to reflect on my actions and work as a leader. Secondly, I can actually see in almost all of our metrics and financial statements when I started the MBA program. Up until then, we had been delivering steady results, but when I went back to school and gained stronger leadership skills, we really started to deliver great results. We were also named a gazelle company in the following years. So it’s turned out to be a really good investment.”

An MBA in a small business makes a big difference

When you are employed in a small company or are an owner-manager, you don’t always have the resources to commit to a long-term education, which an MBA program is, and that’s a shame, says Magnus Vagtborg, who, in addition to the professional skills, has also built a strong network on the program.
“Many of my fellow students held management positions in C25 companies and larger global companies. It is therefore naturally both an interesting and, not least, a very valuable network that you build up during your studies. But the actual output and the difference you can make afterwards is very decisive,” says Magnus.

He further explains that being an owner-manager of a small company is a special situation – often as the only one in the company:
“I was the first person with an Executive MBA in our company, and I quickly felt the full effect in terms of strategy, process management and more. All the subjects we worked with at the school had a huge positive impact on the company, and much of the knowledge I gained at the school has been implemented and applied in our daily work,” he states.

Since 2019, when he graduated, AVT has added a whole range of courses that almost make up for an entire CBA, and Magnus says he’s considering whether it’s time to tune up his toolbox again. He adds that AVT is good at keeping its alumni network updated on new initiatives/courses and master classes, which keeps the motivation for further learning alive.

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