In this podcast, we have an enlightening conversation with Nicolai Tangen, CEO of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, which manages approximately $1.3 trillion (making it the largest SWF in the world).
Norway’s great wealth is in large part courtesy of its oil riches, discovered in 1969. With great vision, the Government’s response to the discovery was the decision to create a separate, segregated fund, away from politicians’ grasp, to serve Norway’s current and future citizens.
Nicolai describes his education and early investing experiences at Cazenove and Egerton, before starting the extremely successful hedge fund AKO. He talks about his education, refreshed throughout his career, and his decision to become the CEO of Norway’s SWF, otherwise known as Pension Fund Global. He talks about his immense delight in being appointed CEO, and how the investment strategy is evolving under his stewardship.
He also speaks about his wish to use risk in a slightly more productive way, how private assets are assessed and incorporated going forward, and how deep forensic analysis such as that undertaken in the case of Wirecard will lead them to exclude companies that might otherwise be owned as part of their ownership of 9,000 globally.The conversation encompasses a discussion about the lofty valuations exhibited within ESG assets, the stocks excluded from their investment portfolio and shown on the website, and the tension between divesting and remaining a shareholder of companies in transition.
Nicolai then explains why techniques drawn from behavioural analysis can help them assess the risks embedded within potential investments; the resilience that can be learned from top athletes, the dangers of inflation returning and the long term challenges facing investors and the world more generally.Finally he offers some pithy Norwegian advice on cooking, sailing, endurance, charity and why introverts are such an under-utilised asset.
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