Norges Bank Investment Management

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Norway $1.05 Trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund Appoints Nicolai Tangen as New CEO 

Hong Kong | 29th May 2020

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which is the world’s largest with $1.05 trillion assets, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), has appointed AKO hedge fund manager, Nicolai Tangen as the new CEO with effect from the 1st September 2020. 

” $1.05 Trillion Norway’s sovereign wealth fund Appoints Nicolai Tangen as the new CEO “


Norway $1.05 Trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund

Norways’ sovereign wealth fund is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, with $1.05 trillion assets.  Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is the asset management unit of the Norwegian central bank (Norges Bank), managing the Government Pension Fund Global, often referred to as the Norwegian oil fund. 

The fund was created after Norway discovered one of the world’s largest offshore oilfields in the North Sea in 1969.  It was set up to shield the economy from ups and downs in oil revenue and serves as a financial reserve and as a long-term savings plan so that both current and future generations get to benefit from the oil wealth.  In 1990, the Norwegian parliament passed legislation to support this, creating what is now the Government Pension Fund Global, and the first money was deposited in the fund in 1996. As the name suggests, it was decided that the fund should only be invested abroad.

The Government Pension Fund Global with $1.05 trillion assets, owns almost 1.5% of shares in the world’s listed companies, including the likes of Apple, Nestlé, Microsoft and Samsung in more than 9,000 companies in 74 countries.  Since 1998, the fund has generated an annual return of 6.1%.

In Q1 of 2020, the Government Pension Fund Global reported a return of -14.6%.  In 2008 (global financial crisis), the fund generated return of -23.31% and in 2009, it generated return 25.62%.  At the end of 2019, the fund was invested with 70.8% in equities, 2.7% in unlisted real estate and 26.5% in fixed income.


The Next CEO – Hedge Fund Manager Nicolai Tangen 

On the 24 March 2020, the Executive Board of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) has decided to offer Nicolai Tangen the position of CEO of NBIM.  On 28th May 2020, the contract was signed and he will become the CEO on the 1st September 2020.

Nicolai Tangen founded his hedge fund AKO Capital in London in 2005.  Today, the firm manages $18.1 billion in long-only and long-short equity funds.  Nicolai Tangen is a Norwegian and is born in 1966.

AKO Capital 

  • AKO Capital’s European long-short fund has grew 3 times the rate of the market (9.9% versus the market 3.1%) since its inception nearly 15 years ago (2005).  
  • Their European long-only fund has also outperformed the market by more than 4% per annum (9.8% versus the market 5.5%).  
  • As at February 2020, the firm had generated more than $8.6 billion in profits for our clients across all AKO funds.
  • AKO Capital was awarded ‘Best European Equity Fund over $500m’ in 2012 by Eurohedge.
  • Demonstrating consistency of performance, AKO was nominated for the ‘Best European Equity Fund’ and ‘Best New European Fund’ awards in 2006 and for ‘Best European Equity Fund over $500m’ in each of 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
  • The AKO Global Fund was nominated for the ‘Best New Global Fund’ in 2016 and ‘Best Global Equity Fund over $500m’ in 2017 and 2018, winning this award in 2019.


Governor Øystein Olsen:

“With Nicolai Tangen, we will have a highly skilled leader of the Government Pension Fund Global. Tangen is a man with good leadership skills and unique experience from international capital markets. Tangen will take a competent organisation to new levels in the years to come.

The employment contract creates sufficient distance between Nicolai Tangen’s private finances, the AKO system and the job that he will carry out as CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management. Mechanisms are established which ensure that Tangen will have no influence on his fund investments for as long as he is employed by Norges Bank, and which prevent possible conflicts of interest and impartiality”

The main features of the new structure of Tangen’s financial engagements are as follows.

  • Tangen’s voting right in AKO Capital is reduced to 43 percent, and a trustee is appointed who will exercise his voting rights.
  • All dividend from Tangen’s ownership in AKO will be donated to the AKO Foundation.
  • Tangen will step down from all directorships in AKO companies. The composition of all relevant boards in the AKO system is changed so that they do not have a majority of members with close ties to Tangen.
  • Gabler Investments AS will manage his personal wealth in the AKO funds under a discretionary mandate. A proxy will handle all dialogue with Gabler. This means that Tangen will not know what he is invested in, and it ensures that unwanted information is not received by Tangen.
  • For a period of six months after having left the position, Tangen cannot provide services to or take up directorships in the AKO system.


Nicolai Tangen:

“I am more than ever looking forward to embarking on the task of managing the funds of current and future generations of Norwegian. It is with great awe and humbleness that I take up this position in September”


About Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM)

Norges Bank Investment Management is the asset management unit of the Norwegian central bank (Norges Bank). We manage the Government Pension Fund Global, often referred to as the Norwegian oil fund.  Norges Bank Investment Management aims to get the highest possible return on the fund within the investment mandate set by the Ministry of Finance. We seek to safeguard the long-term financial interests of Norway’s future generations through active management and active ownership.

Norway’s oil fund, or the Government Pension Fund Global which is its official name, was created after we discovered oil in the North Sea. The fund was set up to shield the economy from ups and downs in oil revenue. It also serves as a financial reserve and as a long-term savings plan so that both current and future generations get to benefit from our oil wealth.

Visit: Norges Bank Investment Management


About Nicolai Tangen

Nicolai Tangenset up AKO Capital in 2005, and is CIO and CEO. Prior to this he was a partner at Egerton Capital (1997-2002) and built up and headed the Nordic department at Cazenove & Co. (1992-1997). 

Nicolai has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from The Wharton School (1989-1991). Between July 1986 and December 1987 Nicolai served in the Norwegian Armed Forces’ School of Intelligence and Security, where he studied Russian language and was trained in interrogation and translation. In between Egerton and setting up AKO Capital, Nicolai completed a Master’s degree in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He has also recently finished a Master’s degree in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics.  Nicolai serves on the Wharton Board of Overseers as well as on the Wharton EMEA Advisory Board. He is also a Governor of the University of the Arts London.


About AKO Capital

Based in London, AKO Capital is one of Europe’s leading investment partnerships. Founded in 2005, AKO Capital manages approximately USD 18.1 billion across long-only and long-short equity funds.

Visit: AKO Capital


Norges Bank: Government Pension Fund Global


Nicolai Tangen

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