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Norway Wealth Fund CEO Says Successor Will Probably Be Norwegian

Mikael Holter

(Bloomberg) -- The new head of Norway’s $1.1 trillion sovereign wealth fund will likely be a Norwegian citizen, the outgoing chief executive officer said in an interview with local news service E24.no.

Norway is looking for a new CEO for its massive fund to replace Yngve Slyngstad, who said in October he would step down after 12 years at the helm. The fund has swelled to a record this year, but has also come to a crossroads as capital injections from the country’s oil and gas production fade.

Having a Norwegian heading the fund is a question of legitimacy, Slyngstad said in the podcast interview.

“It’s not very realistic that it won’t be a Norwegian,” he said. “Someone who’s able to say what this fund actually is, explain it in a simple way.”

The government oversees the fund, with a mandate ultimately anchored in Parliament. It’s run by a unit of the central bank, whose executive board is formally charged with picking the new CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management. Governor Oystein Olsen, who leads the board, has said the new CEO needs to have a deep understanding of Norwegian society, and know at least one Scandinavian language.

The appointment might happen around Easter (in April next year), and the succession could then be at the beginning of the summer, Slyngstad said.

After stepping down as CEO, Slyngstad will lead the fund’s new investments in renewable-energy infrastructure from London. He expects to start that job around October next year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tasneem Hanfi Brögger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net, James Amott, Bruce Stanley

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