An Interview with Audientes Chairman Povl-André Bendz
Povl-André Bendz, Chairman of the Board at Audientes is no stranger to the executive directorate world. He holds a number of board positions today, including Chairman of the Board for 2cureX AB, which is listed on the Nasdaq First North Sweden. With a long career in the life sciences industry, encompassing several financial and commercial leadership roles, Audientes was more than happy when he agreed to take on the Board Chairman role. For Audientes, it was critical that we had a Chairman who shared our mindset that this role should go far beyond securing and overseeing mandated processes and financial and compliance requirements to include an advisory role on the overall strategy and profitability of Audientes; something that Polv-André agrees wholeheartedly with.
“My role as Chairman is to ensure that the Audientes management team and our other board members are in compliance with good corporate governance and that, of course, – as a public listed company – the company is in compliance with both the Danish financial regulations and Nasdaq’s Market Abuse Regulations (MAR),” he says. “Moreover, it is my responsibility to ensure that, at any given time, the company has the most executable and profitable strategy. And that management enact upon this strategy and add value to the company. Of course, there are many other aspects of a Chairman’s role, but these are prime.”
Unique and a potential IPO candidate
Povl-André and Audientes first crossed paths in 2018. “It was almost by accident. I was visiting Futurebox in Lyngby where Audientes had their offices at the time and had heard about them through my network. On impulse, I asked to meet with them and that was when I got my first introduction to the company from Steen Thygesen (CEO) and Hossein Jelved (CTO). By the end of that meeting, I was convinced that this project was both unique and a potential IPO candidate. It just needed to mature somewhat first.”
Over the following months and years, Povl-André and the Audientes leadership team met several times to discuss strategy, growth and the upcoming IPO, until this summer when he official accepted the offer to become Chairman of the Board. “Given my experience in the medtech industry and my deep belief in the viability of this project, I willingly accepted. It’s really a great honor to be a part of this journey and to see Audientes through to its success.”
A simple, yet powerful mission
According to Povl-André, the Audientes mission is a powerful calling. “To make high-quality and affordable hearing aids available to people who are less fortunate than we are in Scandinavia is a very simple, yet powerful mission. It’s so crystal clear that what we are doing can dramatically help people who are struggling and subsequently make a strong impact in the world. Everyone can relate to the problem and the solution and that’s what makes it so powerful.”
Moving forward, after the recent IPO, Povl-André believes that he has an important contribution to make. “When we rang the bell to signify our first day of trading on Nasdaq First North, we became a company that has over 2,700 investors who have entrusted us with 40 million DKK. I will do my upmost as board Chairman to ensure that both the company and the board deliver on the promise that we have made to our investors. What’s more, I hope that my 35 years of commercial experience and my +20 years of life sciences experience can help build this company in accordance with our roadmap. Adding new employees and new processes and so on, while simultaneously balancing the journey with a sustainable business. As Chairman, I will always strive to ensure that we have ‘orden I penalhuset’ as we say in Danish or our house is in order in English. This is very important to me.”
What does Audientes success look like to Povl-André?
“That we deliver on our promise to our shareholders. That we deliver high-quality hearing aids to our prioritized markets. That we develop a company and a culture that attracts and keeps the best people on the market. And that we deliver substantial company value to the benefit of our shareholders. Or you can put it another way: Audientes is successful when the established large hearing aid manufactures that dominate today’s market start to sit up and take notice of Audientes.”
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