Wallmans Salonger Oslo: The Show Must Go On!

The talkshow host David Letterman once said,” There’s no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting”. However showbiz also needs accountants – and when the new CEO in Wallmans Salonger in Oslo, Cecilie Trøan Kjelsaas, needed to establish an efficient and experienced accounting function quickly, interim management was the only real alternative.

Wallmans Salonger – entertainment for all ages

Down by the Oslo river “Akerselva”, where the river cascades over the waterfall “Vøyenfallene”, stands a tall red brick building in what is called Mølleparken (The Mill Park). In the 1850’s the river gave waterpower to the textile miller, which today houses Wallmans Salonger Oslo. The noises of spindles have been exchanged with the chorus of laughter, music, cutlery on porcelain, mixed with the background sound of the waterfall.

CEO, Cecilie Trøan Kjelsaas says “The audience is split about 50/50 between private and commercial markets. Our target audience is the age group 38-45, and they often bring with them parents, children, friends and colleagues. We want to be a place for everybody, all ages, both sexes and all alike”.

Since 2000, the dinner-show restaurant has delivered fantastic shows for young and old. The waiters are the artists themselves. A 4-course dinner is served during the show (themed -yearly), with a staff of over 100 making the evening possible.

High customer loyalty

“We have very high customer loyalty, and frequently experience impressed customers, who straight away book seats for the year to come. At the same time, we can see that the competition is changing.” Earlier the Wallman Salonger was a recruiting stage for the industry. Today the stages for new artists are e.g. YouTube, Norwegian Talent shows, Idol and others. “This puts a demand on us to deliver even higher quality, which we are constantly working on.”

The 2016 yearly turnover was 46,1 MNOK and the owner is the Swedish company Wallmans Group AB, which again is a daughter company of the listed stock exchange company Moment Group AB. Moment Group is one of Scandinavia’s leading players in the entertainment industry. The group has equivalent concepts in Stockholm and Copenhagen, in addition to entertainment events in cultural venues and hotels throughout Norway.

CFO urgently needed

As a new CEO, with long experience in change management and restructuring, Cecilie quickly saw the need for a qualified and well-functioning CFO. She then contacted Interimleder AS:

“I knew Interimleder AS already. They had previously helped me back in 2004, when I was in charge of a restructing project in Oslo Kino (Oslo Cinema). We hired a Marketing Manager and a CFO. It was a successful assignment with competent managers who immediately filled the roles and were operational from Day 1.” She continues: “I have utilised Interim managers ever since. This is the third assigment where I am making use of Interimleder’s services.”

6 relevant candidates in one week

In this case I did not have time to consider permanent employees nor a regular temping agency. But I knew Interimleder AS could deliver qualified candidates quickly. Immediately they were on the ball. Within a week I had six relevant candidates to choose from. Every single one of them could have filled the role. In less than 14 days we had an operative CFO working for us.

More than expected

The interim manager started on a six months contract in March 2018. According to Cecilie her expectations where exceeded.

“I am so happy with him and I have tried to convince him to stay. He came in fast, he saw the problems quickly, and delivered more then expected, something I am not necessarily used to happening so fast. He had control very early, and has continuously delivered and improved our accounting processes. This is the “caliber” of the candidates Interimleder has in it´s database. They are competent, have experience, and they do not need 6 months to adapt.”

Low risk, high profit

Of course you pay for quality, but it is value for money and pays off quickly when solving problems fast and efficiently. Our advantage as a client is that we (and not the Interim manager) have short termination terms, so our risk is very low.

With well-functioning accounting processes in place, the stage is set for a great show by the river for many years to come.