Norway’s sovereign wealth fund—the largest in the world—has chosen a hedge fund operator to take over the system.
Nicolai Tangen, a Norwegian who is the London-based chief executive at AKO Capital, will head Norges Bank Investment Management, starting in September. The firm runs the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the sovereign wealth fund valued at nearly $1 trillion.
“Tangen has built up one of Europe’s leading investment firms and has delivered very good financial results as an international investment manager,” said Øystein Olsen, chair of the executive board.
“He has extensive experience with equity management, which is the fund’s largest asset class,” Olsen added.
Tangen will be taking the mantle from Yngve Slyngstad, who said in October that he is stepping down after roughly 12 years leading the fund. Last year, the Norwegian plan increased about 20%, returning a record $180 billion, thanks largely to positive equity gains under the former chief executive.
But the sovereign fund is currently worth about $958 billion, down 10% from $1.07 trillion at the end of its 2019 fiscal year, hit by market losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, the central bank decided to draw down its oil revenues from the GPFG as part of its fiscal response to the outbreak.
Tangen was chosen out of eight applicants, including the deputy CEO Trond Grande. The central bank did not disclose Tangen’s application during the recruitment process.
The hedge fund manager, who has lived in London for nearly 30 years, will relocate to Oslo and pay taxes to Norway after he takes up the position.