The central bank division managing Norway’s sovereign wealth fund announced two promotions of women to its top management team today – people moves that have brought gender balance to a powerful panel within asset management that just five years ago was all male.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) said in a statement this morning that Marthe Skaar and Ada Magnæs Aass have been appointed chief of communications and external relations and chief human resources officer, respectively.

The two women will take up their positions on 1 April, NBIM said.

Both roles are newly created and their incumbents will report directly to the chief executive officer, the Oslo-based organisation said.

CEO Nicolai Tangen said: “I’m very happy Marthe and Ada have accepted these roles, as communications and HR are very important areas for the fund.”

Both women brought the right leadership qualities combined with a very deep understanding of the fund, the CEO said.

“I feel confident that they will bring the best out of our communication and our people,” he said.

News that Skaar and Aass will join the leader group comes 12 days after the announcement that Malin Norberg is to step into the new role of co-chief investment officer asset strategies.

The addition of the three women to the leader group means that from 1 April, the top management team behind the NOK13.9trn (€1.23trn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) will expand to 12 people from nine, and become gender balanced in number terms with six leaders being male and six female – although the power balance is weighted towards men since the CEO is male.

Marthe Skaar at NBIM

Marthe Skaar at NBIM

This takes the top team back to the size it was before Tangen came to NBIM as CEO in September 2020, but in terms of the male/female ratio, it is worlds apart from the all-male composition it had up to the beginning of 2018.

Since Tangen took charge, the gender diversity of the leader group has steadily increased.

Skaar comes from the position of acting chief of communications at Norges Bank, and was previously global head of communications and external relations for the fund, NBIM said.

She joined the Norwegian central bank in 2013 and has since held several different positions at the GPFG and Norges Bank, according to the announcement.

Aass is currently chief people and organisation officer at Norges Bank, having joined NBIM in 2014.

NBIM said both Skaar and Aass had been working closely with Tangen since he started, but “will now officially be part of the leader group, contributing to the overall strategy of the organisation”.

Creating two new leader group roles representing communications and staff echoes personal priorities Tangen listed when he became CEO. In an interview with the Financial Times, he said back then that he would focus on three areas – increasing performance and excess returns; improving external and internal communications and improving talent development.