Norges Bank Investment Management FAQ

All answers shown come directly from Norges Bank Investment Management Reviews and are not edited or altered.

11 English questions out of 11

21 June 2019

How are senior leaders perceived at Norges Bank Investment Management?

Pros

It is satisfying to not manage money for spoiled rich people - there is a higher goal here as the fund manages the savings of an entire nation. If you join NBIM you will work with smart people in the frontline positions. On the analyst, trader, portfolio manager level, there are many highly qualified and intellectual employees. Relaxed atmosphere in the Singapore and Shanghai. Hectic investment focused in NY offices. Stodgy quiet quality in London and sleepiness in Oslo. Good benefits - especially in Oslo.

Cons

The CEO runs the organization like the military sending orders down the line. While the CEO is visionary and brilliant, he also has flaws. He changes his mind frequently and have little tolerance for input that does not agree with his favored direction of the day. As a result he has surrounded himself with inept yes-people in the C-suite. This is particularly true for the 3 investment CIOs. One is a failed investor from the active equity arm of the fund, the second is an academic macro PhD with no understanding of asset management while the third has no core investment beliefs at all. Working in the organization is highly frustrating as all decisions are taken at the top by a CEO that is too far removed to have relevant information. Many decisions affecting us on the floor are made based on assumptions, rumors and partial knowledge. The yes people around him do not fill the information gap either due to incompetence or fear - I don’t know which. Anyway - the result is ever-changing directions and mixed signals to employees. The lack of trust in the leader-group is reflected every year in an annual survey (which does not lead to any changes) and saps morale. As midlevel management has no authority they are unable to make decisions on even the simplest questions. There is a lack of working together towards a common goal, a high degree of office politics and a substantial amount of back-stabbing to gain favor in a hierarchical organization where many managers are remote from their employees.

Advice to Management

The CEO is smart. Very smart. Hopefully he is smart enough to realize that he needs to replace the majority of the C level executives and delegate authority to the new ones. Entire organization long overdue for a reorganization.

While the CEO is visionary and brilliant, he also has flaws.

21 June 2019

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10 March 2019

How are the career development opportunities at Norges Bank Investment Management?

Pros

Some very nice colleagues, reasonable work/life balance. Big budgets, not afraid of change or adopting new technologies (though this always takes time due to public sector procurement rules).

Cons

The leader group (until recently) consisted almost solely of middle-aged white Norwegian males interested exclusively in the fund’s performance. Any attempt to give focus to anything else – culture, leadership development, etc. - is railroaded by death-by-squiggly-graph performance presentations. Efforts at diversity & inclusion are purely lip service. Aggressive behaviour, sexism and poor performance in some cases tolerated/ignored. Currently no career path for technical experts resulting in a high number of poor line managers. Stubborn and blinkered senior management.

Currently no career path for technical experts resulting in a high number of poor line managers.

10 March 2019

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21 June 2019

What is the feeling of job security at Norges Bank Investment Management?

Pros

It is satisfying to not manage money for spoiled rich people - there is a higher goal here as the fund manages the savings of an entire nation. If you join NBIM you will work with smart people in the frontline positions. On the analyst, trader, portfolio manager level, there are many highly qualified and intellectual employees. Relaxed atmosphere in the Singapore and Shanghai. Hectic investment focused in NY offices. Stodgy quiet quality in London and sleepiness in Oslo. Good benefits - especially in Oslo.

Cons

The CEO runs the organization like the military sending orders down the line. While the CEO is visionary and brilliant, he also has flaws. He changes his mind frequently and have little tolerance for input that does not agree with his favored direction of the day. As a result he has surrounded himself with inept yes-people in the C-suite. This is particularly true for the 3 investment CIOs. One is a failed investor from the active equity arm of the fund, the second is an academic macro PhD with no understanding of asset management while the third has no core investment beliefs at all. Working in the organization is highly frustrating as all decisions are taken at the top by a CEO that is too far removed to have relevant information. Many decisions affecting us on the floor are made based on assumptions, rumors and partial knowledge. The yes people around him do not fill the information gap either due to incompetence or fear - I don’t know which. Anyway - the result is ever-changing directions and mixed signals to employees. The lack of trust in the leader-group is reflected every year in an annual survey (which does not lead to any changes) and saps morale. As midlevel management has no authority they are unable to make decisions on even the simplest questions. There is a lack of working together towards a common goal, a high degree of office politics and a substantial amount of back-stabbing to gain favor in a hierarchical organization where many managers are remote from their employees.

Advice to Management

The CEO is smart. Very smart. Hopefully he is smart enough to realize that he needs to replace the majority of the C level executives and delegate authority to the new ones. Entire organization long overdue for a reorganization.

One is a failed investor from the active equity arm of the fund, the second is an academic macro PhD with no understanding of asset management while the third has no core investment beliefs at all.

21 June 2019

See answer

10 March 2019

Does there seem to be diversity at Norges Bank Investment Management?

Pros

Some very nice colleagues, reasonable work/life balance. Big budgets, not afraid of change or adopting new technologies (though this always takes time due to public sector procurement rules).

Cons

The leader group (until recently) consisted almost solely of middle-aged white Norwegian males interested exclusively in the fund’s performance. Any attempt to give focus to anything else – culture, leadership development, etc. - is railroaded by death-by-squiggly-graph performance presentations. Efforts at diversity & inclusion are purely lip service. Aggressive behaviour, sexism and poor performance in some cases tolerated/ignored. Currently no career path for technical experts resulting in a high number of poor line managers. Stubborn and blinkered senior management.

Efforts at diversity & inclusion are purely lip service.

10 March 2019

See answer

21 June 2019

How is management perceived at Norges Bank Investment Management?

Pros

It is satisfying to not manage money for spoiled rich people - there is a higher goal here as the fund manages the savings of an entire nation. If you join NBIM you will work with smart people in the frontline positions. On the analyst, trader, portfolio manager level, there are many highly qualified and intellectual employees. Relaxed atmosphere in the Singapore and Shanghai. Hectic investment focused in NY offices. Stodgy quiet quality in London and sleepiness in Oslo. Good benefits - especially in Oslo.

Cons

The CEO runs the organization like the military sending orders down the line. While the CEO is visionary and brilliant, he also has flaws. He changes his mind frequently and have little tolerance for input that does not agree with his favored direction of the day. As a result he has surrounded himself with inept yes-people in the C-suite. This is particularly true for the 3 investment CIOs. One is a failed investor from the active equity arm of the fund, the second is an academic macro PhD with no understanding of asset management while the third has no core investment beliefs at all. Working in the organization is highly frustrating as all decisions are taken at the top by a CEO that is too far removed to have relevant information. Many decisions affecting us on the floor are made based on assumptions, rumors and partial knowledge. The yes people around him do not fill the information gap either due to incompetence or fear - I don’t know which. Anyway - the result is ever-changing directions and mixed signals to employees. The lack of trust in the leader-group is reflected every year in an annual survey (which does not lead to any changes) and saps morale. As midlevel management has no authority they are unable to make decisions on even the simplest questions. There is a lack of working together towards a common goal, a high degree of office politics and a substantial amount of back-stabbing to gain favor in a hierarchical organization where many managers are remote from their employees.

Advice to Management

The CEO is smart. Very smart. Hopefully he is smart enough to realize that he needs to replace the majority of the C level executives and delegate authority to the new ones. Entire organization long overdue for a reorganization.

As midlevel management has no authority they are unable to make decisions on even the simplest questions.

21 June 2019

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11 English questions out of 11