February 27, 2018
Meet Linde Finsrud Wilson. She is a Managing Director and leads the Deals Strategy practice in healthcare. Linde and her team help investors identify opportunities for investment, assess growth potential and assist in developing the full potential of investments. A native New Yorker who currently resides in Cleveland, Linde is an avid rower, a lifelong musician and a wife and mother.
From early on, Linde recalls appreciating the details and intricacies involved in making big things happen, including the excitement of building businesses. When she was 12, she organized a day camp for the neighborhood kids: “I think we charged like $5 for the whole week.” She also organized charity events, and convinced the town mayor to shut down the street: “I went from store to store for donations. In our first year we raised $12 and in year 3, $1000.” It’s evident that Linde takes initiative, and she learned many lessons in leadership from being active in 4H both locally and nationally: “4-H encouraged us to plan, execute and demonstrate skills competitively. You picked a topic – for instance, horticulture or cooking or another skill – and explained how to make them in front of three judges.” The youth organization also inspired Linde to teach and mentor. “I was a camp counselor when I was 15, and one of the things I taught was swimming. I had never done that; I had to research it and figure out how to teach.” Linde went on to win a scholarship with 4H, which helped pay her way through college: “I am indebted to 4-H – they really helped me grow and I try to give back to those who are now involved in 4-H.”
Linde discovered her love for rowing in college as a member on the rowing team. The sport inspires her in many ways and she finds time to row regularly amid her busy schedule. “I love it because it’s physically demanding, but even more important than that is the precision involved. It’s a little like golf – if you move any part of your body, it has an impact and it can make a big difference in your performance.” Linde takes these lessons to heart; they have guided her throughout her career working in and managing diverse teams: “Rowing requires you to work as one – if you try to row in your own way, or concentrate on individual performance alone, you will not be fast. Even if you are a veteran rower and you try to be a peacock, rowing in your own way, you ruin the boat swing. You have to ‘row as one’ or you will ruin it for everyone else.”
A musician at heart
Linde started playing the flute in her school band and went on to play for a major US symphony orchestra. After a break from performing, she opened a music school in a refurbished warehouse: “I was 23-years-old and had a lot of energy. I decided to apply for grants and get some investors together to invest in the school. We had many teachers.” One thing led to another, and soon Linde gained notoriety for her prowess in fundraising. She received a local economic development award, and a major health system asked her to sit on their advisory board. “It was rewarding to serve my community. An administrator at the health system said, ‘You’re good at this – you should go into healthcare.’” And so she did.
Brings industry perspective
Linde started her career in consulting and then moved to
industry as an administrator. After working for years as an executive helping run hospitals and healthcare systems, a friend urged Linde to go back into consulting: “It’s a great fit for me – I learn something new every day.” Linde not only brings an industry perspective to the healthcare clients she advises, she also offers a level of pragmatism that lead her to come up with realistic solutions. “I could be working with a team that has come up with a really beautiful model for growth or a great investment. It might sound great, but the reality is that it may never happen if the physicians don’t buy in.” Linde believes the most intriguing development in healthcare today is technological innovation and the unprecedented opportunities to improve care. The challenge is leveraging new technologies, which can be costly, while helping reduce healthcare costs. “I can feel their pain, their stresses and their frustrations.”