Nicolai Tangen, the new leader of Norway’s NOK10.8trn (€1bn) sovereign wealth fund, has begun a campaign of talking directly to students and other potential recruits in order to fulfil his vision of a more diverse workforce in his 500-strong organisation.
A week ago, the chief executive officer of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which runs the Government Pension Fund Global – also known as the oil fund – announced on LinkedIn that he had finally found his way to the professional networking site, and would be using it to “share thoughts and some insights to my daily working life”.
Former hedge fund manager Tangen, who took up the CEO role in September after months of heated public debate about his controversial appointment, has also used a chatty interview in Norwegian student newspaper K7 Bulletin to promote NBIM’s two-year talent programme and its summer internship, where participants can look forward to being based either in Oslo or London.
“I will spend a lot of time with those who are included in the talent programme,” he told the paper, which is based at the NHH Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen.
“That is, this is not something that is just delegated to HR,” Tangen said, adding that the top recruits would be people he wanted to mentor personally.
In a subsequent video posted on LinkedIn, Tangen told viewers directly from NBIM’s Oslo offices who he was looking for.
“Just as we invest for the long-term, we take a long-term perspective when it comes to our staff,” he said.
“The fund needs great people. We basically need you. We are looking for talented people with diverse backgrounds and mindsets who are comfortable taking risks,” Tangen told the camera.
NBIM strived to have an environment where people did not fear failure, he declared. “Because failure is a product and we can therefore learn and improve,” the CEO added.
This week, Tangen handed out careers advice for more of the high-fliers NBIM is trying to lure.
Posting a video of his first digital lecture at BI Norwegian Business School, whose main campus is located in the country’s capital city, Tangen said on LinkedIn: “Never take a job for the money. Take the job that challenges your intellect. If you are good at it money will follow.”
Asked by the student newspaper in Bergen what he had learned from the turbulent process around his appointment as head of the oil fund, Tangen replied: “I learned that the oil fund is very important for Norwegians and that many have opinions about who should manage that fund.”
However, one of the positive things about all the noise surrounding his employment was, Tangen said, that everyone had at least heard about the oil fund.
“We intend to use that,” he said, adding: “We are getting a lot of applications and in a couple of years we will be the most attractive place in Norway to work.”