Norges Bank Investment Management FAQ

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2 English questions out of 2

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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23 June 2019

What are some insights into the strategy or vision at Norges Bank Investment Management?

Pros

Friendly smart colleagues. Clear investment focus. Autonomy in managing portfolio. As a long term employee, I disagree with the review posted on June 21st 2019. While I acknowledge that there is a highly centralized decision making structure in the organization, it does NOT effect my day to day work. There is a clear investment culture and the vast majority of employees (at least in my office) are highly motivated to perform. Norges is a great place to work as a PM as you are given great autonomy when it comes to investment decisions.

Cons

Decision making is centralized in HQ. Benefits are good, salary slightly below the industry norm.

Advice to Management

Fight against the everpresent risk of turning into a government bureaucracy. Move away from highly centralized org decision structure - enhance authority of heads in sector strategies. Weed out substantial portion of organization that believes no competitive advantage is needed for efficient implementation and return generation - or else the org is easy target for profit generation from sell side.

While I acknowledge that there is a highly centralized decision making structure in the organization, it does NOT effect my day to day work.

23 June 2019

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2 English questions out of 2