International talent is new Group CFO in COWI


39-year-old Swedish-Iranian Natalie Shaverdian Riise-Knudsen will be COWI's new CFO, tasked with contributing to the next growth phase of the company. Despite her young age, she brings broad and solid international experience, especially in finance, IT, analysis, management and change.

“Natalie is an impressive talent and a great match for COWI. Throughout her career, she has a proven track record of building and leading efficient teams that deliver strong results. Given her experience, personal drive and passion for management, she’ll be a key person in our next phase,” says Group CEO, Lars-Peter Søbye.

Natalie Shaverdian Riise-Knudsen is currently Vice President of Business Finance in Novozymes. Despite her young age, she boasts an extensive international career with positions in companies such as insurance giant RSA Nordic and GE Capital Nordic.

Attracted by visions and values

Her talent was spotted early on, also in Denmark, where she has spent part of her work life. She was among the pool of tomorrow’s leaders recognised by Børsen back in 2011, and among the top 100 Danish business talents celebrated by Berlingske in 2016.

“I believe I can contribute a fresh international perspective to a strong, long-standing company that has a huge appetite for development and growth,” says Natalie Shaverdian Riise-Knudsen.

”I’m especially attracted by COWI's values and vision to create a more sustainable future, and I look forwarding to leading in a company that truly prioritises employees. Combined with its customer focus, I believe this to be the key to COWI's success, and I look forwarding to being part of that. Because even though I do like numbers, I like people even more,” says Riise-Knudsen with a smile.

Energy and the green transition as focal points

In the past 15 years, COWI has grown steadily, and this March the company presented a record-high profit and its best cash flow ever. Nonetheless, its ambitions include continuous growth and development in the years to come, focusing especially on energy, the green transition, digital solutions and sustainable urban development.

And that is at the heart of COWI's future strategy, says Lars-Peter Søbye:

”Natalie will join COWI at the exact right time and I look forward to bringing her experience and energy into play in our current strategy process.”

She will join COWI in September, replacing Tomas Bergendahl, who has taken up a new position with AAK in Sweden.

CV of Natalie Shaverdian Riise-Knudsen

2019–now: Vice President of Business Finance (reporting to the CFO) Novozymes
2010-2019: Management positions in finance, IT and change with RSA Nordic (multinational general insurance company)
2006-2010: Several key finance positions with GE Capital Nordic and GE Capital EMEA Nordic
2005-2006: Associate, Global Risk Management Services PriceWaterhouseCoopers Sweden


  • Master of Science i Business and Administration, Örebro University
  • MBA courses in Corporate Finance & Marketing, INSEEC Paris
  • International Business Programme, Linköping University
  • Various management training programmes, e.g., with IMD, Switzerland.

Get in contact

COWI employee Søren Kragh Pedersen

Søren Kragh Pedersen
Head of Group PA & PR
Communication, Denmark

Tel: +45 2025 7018