Norges Bank Investment Management restructures investment departments

Norges Bank Investment Management has restructured its investment departments in line with a new strategy plan for Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, a spokesman said.

The manager of the 5.5 trillion Norwegian kroner ($887.2 billion) sovereign wealth fund has created three new chief investment officer roles, which take effect Oct. 1.

Ole Christian Bech-Moen, global head, allocation strategies, will become CIO of allocation strategies. Oyvind Schanke will be CIO of asset strategies. He is currently global head of equity trading. Petter Johnsen, CIO of equities, will become CIO equity strategies.

According to NBIM’s website, CEO Yngve Slyngstad is also currently CIO of allocation, a role he will be dropping under the new structure.

NBIM also added a separate chief compliance officer role, which was previously part of the chief risk officer role, held by Jan Thomsen. Mr. Thomsen will take on the new chief compliance officer role, while Dag Huse, global head of investment risk, takes on the chief risk officer position.

NBIM is also setting up a separate leader group for real estate, reflecting the intention to increase allocation to the asset class. Karsten Kallevig, chief investment officer of the existing real estate allocations, remains in that role for the enlarged group. Trond Grande, deputy CEO at NBIM, takes on day-to-day responsibility for the real estate organization.

At a news conference to announce a 3.3% return for the sovereign wealth fund over the three months ended June 30, Mr. Slyngstad said the new structure “is a managed handover that has been planned for a long time.”

The spokesman added that NBIM is “aligning our investment departments with the fund’s main strategies, as set out in the strategy plan 2014-2016” in creating the new CIO responsibilities.

Real estate investments made up 1.2% of the fund as of June 30. According to a financial update published Wednesday, real estate will eventually account for up to 5% of the value of the fund, with a target of building a “global, but concentrated,” portfolio. NBIM expects to invest 1% of the fund per year over the next three years in the private real estate markets, the update said.

“We see that investment in real estate requires a different set up, and therefore the transactions are quite different — they are individual, they are tailored, they do not lend themselves well to the very IT-intensive and data-intensive investment structure, and the very efficient investment organization with low manpower that we have on the equity and fixed-income side,” Mr. Slyngstad said at the news conference. “Therefore we have decided to move to have a separate leader group on the day-to-day operating basis, but there is still one leader group for NBIM.”