Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) is to have two men leading its equities investment operation when Petter Johnsen, the current London-based chief equities officer, steps down to take on a different job at the fund, according to an announcement today.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the central bank division running the sovereign wealth fund, said it had appointed Daniel Balthasar and Pedro Furtado Reis as co-chief investment officers equities.

The pair are to take up their positions on 1 July, it said.

At the beginning of May, NBIM announced Johnsen would quit his job in London as chief equities officer and move to its Oslo headquarters as senior portfolio manager when the organisation had found a replacement for him.

Johnsen has been in NBIM’s leader group since 2011, heading the London office from 2013 to 2021.

Balthasar and Furtado Reis are also to be based in London.

NBIM said today that the duo would be “co-responsible” for company investments, including internal equity and credit security selection.

Nicolai Tangen, NBIM’s chief executive officer, said: “They are both brilliant professionals who impress me a lot with their deep knowledge about equity markets.”

They were also “remarkable, yet humble leaders, who care deeply about their people”, he said.

Asked why NBIM had now decided to have two CIOs in charge of equities rather than just one, a spokeswoman for the management firm told IPE there were several reasons why NBIM was now going for a structure with two bosses.

“The equities area is a very important part of the fund, and a demanding job that requires a lot of attention,” she said.

“We believe that two are needed, because they work closely with the portfolio managers, and this also gives increased flexibility to visit our four head offices,” the spokeswoman told IPE.

Balthasar and Furtado Reis already work together as global co-heads of sector strategies at NBIM, having been appointed together for the joint role at the end of 2020.

Balthasar was previously head of basic industries and autos at NBIM since 2014, and during the same period, Furtado Reis worked as senior portfolio manager and head of banks.

Commenting on the promotion, Balthasar said the pair wanted to keep a strong focus on investment process and the quality of decision-making.

“Also, we want to ensure we utilise tools and resources in the best possible way,” he said.

Furtado Reis is a Portuguese and British citizen, and Balthasar is a German citizen, NBIM said.

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