Nicolai Tangen

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Person.png Nicolai Tangen  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(hedge fund manager)
Alma materThe Norwegian Armed Forces Intelligence School, Wharton School of Finance, London School of Economics
Member ofThe Giving Pledge
InterestsDavid J. Kramer

Employment.png Chief Executive Officer Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund

In office
September 2020 - Present
Manager of the big Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund

Nicolai Tangen is a Norwegian hedge fund manager billionaire and appointed CEO of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund.


During his conscripted army service, Tangen was trained in interrogation and Russian translation by the Norwegian Intelligence Service (E-tjenesten). This specialized intelligence course is a frequent entry point to the Norwegian power elite. He then attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate in business studies, from 1988-92. He also holds Master's degrees in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London and in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics, and likes to present himself as an art patron.

Tangen was an analyst at Cazenove & Co. before moving to Egerton Capital in 1997. Tangen left Egerton Capital in 2002. In 2005, he launched AKO Capital, a London-based hedge fund, which has £10.8 billion of assets under management.

Parts of his fortune is placed in the banking centre Cayman Islands, on the EU tax haven blacklist [1]

In September 2020, he will become the chief executive officer (CEO) at Norges Bank Investment Management, responsible for managing the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund aka 'the Oil Fund', with over over US$1 trillion in assets, including 1.4% of global stocks and shares.

Junket trip before he got hired

A few months before the billionaire was hired as head of the Norwegian Oil Fund, he spent millions of dollars on a spectacular trip to the United States[2]. The trip included private jets from Europe, three nights at luxury hotels, seminars with the world's top academics at [{Wharton]], fantastic food and drink and two private shows with world music starts Sting and Gregory Porter. "The arrangement was incredible. It all paid for. We were invited as guests without paying anything ourselves, it was exceptionally generous by Tangen", one of the invitees said.

Large parts of the Norwegian elite were participants in the junket, including some of the people who a few months later might have influenced the decision to hire him for the Norwegian Oil Fund, including Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Torbjørn Røe Isaksen,Government Attorney Fredrik Sejersted former Oil Fund Manager Knut Kjær and exiting Oil Fund Manager Yngve Slyngstad. Other participants were opinion influencers, media owners, top bureaucrats, 'philosophers' and business leaders.[3]

Investment strategy and Coronavirus

In 2019, AKO increased sharply its investments in “Health Care” - a market that will receive large sums of money by the World Bank in connection with the Covid-19 epidemic over the next 15 months. In addition, IT/technology /surveillance and communications soon were booming; something AKO also invested heavily in from quarter 1, 2019. By the end of 2019, AKO Capital also sold all stock in Marriott International, the world's third largest hotel chain.[4]

Wall Street's Trojan Horse?

Traditionally, there would have been long apprenticeship to get such an important government job, managing trillions in assets, but Tangen wasn't even screened properly, the National Bank did not get access all his financial data. The fact that Tangen has put himself forward for the job and paid heavily for junkets is hardly a random decision. "Someone talked behind the scenes, and this gambit was probably the best "solution" Wall Street could pull out of the hat. The alternatives would have been to place both cash and headquarters in Manhattan - or employ a big US hedge fund manager."[5]

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