The new CEO at Norges Bank Investment Management has overhauled the leadership team running the assets of the world's largest sovereign wealth fund.
Nicolai Tangen, who joined as CEO for the 10.67 trillion Norwegian kroner ($1.14 trillion) Government Pension Fund Global in October, cut the number of executives on the leadership team to nine from 12.
The changes strengthen NBIM's focus on technology by including a chief operating officer and a chief technology officer in the "leader group," a news release said Tuesday.
- Birgitte Byrne was named chief operating officer, responsible for trading processing, measurement and reporting, and investment and administrative services. Ms. Byrne was global head of investment administration.
- Age Bakker was appointed chief technology officer, responsible for the strategy and action plan pertaining to technology. He was chief operating officer.
- Trond Grande, deputy CEO, was also named chief of staff.
- Mie Caroline Holstad was appointed chief real assets officer, responsible for investments and portfolio and asset management for listed and unlisted real estate and unlisted renewable energy infrastructure. Ms. Holstad is also responsible for real assets operations, according to her leadership group biography. She was global head of real estate operations.
Two other executives on the leadership team kept their roles unchanged: Petter Johnsen is CIO equity strategies and Dag Huse is chief risk officer.
Previous positions of the executives could not be learned. The fund does not disclose information of roles other than at chief level, a spokeswoman said.
Four executives left the leadership team, the spokeswoman said. Ole Christian Bech-Moen, CIO of allocation strategies, was named executive director of central bank Norges Bank’s monetary policy department, effective Oct. 15. Karsten Kallevig was named special adviser to the CEO, with a focus on real assets. He was CIO of real estate.
Stephen Hirsch was appointed senior adviser to the chief of staff. He was chief compliance officer. Nina Hammerstad was chief people and operations officer, completing the former leadership team. She resigned in August, the spokeswoman said.
Information on NBIM’s website, last updated in April 2019, said the leader group consisted of the CEO, deputy CEO, four CIOs for various strategies and chiefs responsible for risk, corporate governance, people and operations, compliance and control, finance and a chief operating officer.
“In the years to come, we will continue working with new technology that can improve the management of the fund,” Mr. Tangen said in the release. “We are not only a financial institution. We are also an IT business. We must be among the leaders in technology and analysis of large amounts of data to earn the highest possible return for future generations. We process 30 million transactions a year. That is more than the Oslo stock exchange and illustrates the enormous amounts of data that we process.”
Mr. Tangen added that the smaller leader group gains more synergies. “Our main responsibility is to continue to deliver good return. The new leader group will be a collective decision-making body. Decisions that are broadly anchored are better and less likely to be changed," he said.
Executives will also strengthen the fund’s ownership work in the coming years, Mr. Tangen said.
“This is a rapidly evolving field, and we aim to be a global leader,” he said. “We will work with our expectations to companies, and we will strengthen our ownership dialogue. The compliance and control area is also more important than ever. We will continue building good systems and routines to be in the forefront of developments.”
NBIM noted that female representation in the new leader group is 33%, with the share of women working at the firm as a whole is 21%.
Mr. Tangen said the statistics showed there’s room for improvement.
“This is not good enough. One of my primary priorities is to promote diversity. A good organization needs employees with different perspectives,” he said. “We will relaunch our trainee program to achieve an even more diverse working environment, and I want to promote more skilled women.”