Aker ASA (“Aker”) has appointed Yngve Slyngstad as CEO and senior partner of Aker Asset Management (“AAM”). Slyngstad will be responsible for building and developing active asset management to become a new business area in Aker, on par with the company’s industrial holdings.
“Aker and Aker Horizons have worked together to develop opportunities within active asset management and have made great strides in a short period of time. To succeed, a skilled leader is needed. Yngve Slyngstad is a leading expert in active asset management, with an impressive track record. We are pleased that Yngve has agreed to take the helm of the new business area in its entirety, and we are inspired by his ambitions,” Aker CEO Øyvind Eriksen and Aker Horizons CEO Kristian Røkke said in a joint statement.
Active asset management was launched as a new business area in Aker’s third quarter report on 5 November. Yngve Slyngstad’s mandate will be to develop AAM to become a central part of Aker’s portfolio, with clearly defined relations to Aker’s industrial companies and businesses. Slyngstad will assume the position on 1 March 2022. He has worked for Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) since its inception in 1998, where he was responsible for building up NBIM’s equity management activities. Slyngstad was CEO of NBIM and responsible for the Government Pension Fund Global, from 1 January 2008 until he resigned on 1 September 2020. During this period, the fund increased from approximately NOK 2,000 billion to over NOK 10,000 billion and became the largest single shareholder in the world’s stock markets.
“In the years to come, good returns for investors will primarily be generated by bringing financial capital closer to industrial expertise. The ability to deliver high, long-term returns through asset management is strengthened by having an industrial knowledge base. Through its companies, Aker represents Norway’s largest and most significant industrial knowledge environment. I look forward to leading the work of building and developing AAM to become a global organization that delivers investment strategies based on deep industrial insight,” said Yngve Slyngstad, adding:
“We are facing an energy transition that presents enormous investment opportunities. Realizing big projects that can accelerate the transition to a net-zero society requires that leading industrial companies and major global investors come together. This is why AAM is ideally positioned to make a difference. The goal is to establish funds totalling 100 billion euros that will invest in profitable climate solutions that create value. Green energy, green industry and green cities will be our prioritized investment areas.”
Aker has been a driving force in the development of knowledge-based industry for 180 years, including the energy sector, where Norway is a world leader in several areas.
“Under Slyngstad’s leadership, NBIM has developed world-leading expertise within asset management. Aker is in reality an active asset manager with an industrial base. Our network provides us with access to many interesting opportunities. Access to expertise and capital enables us to seize opportunities rapidly and realize major projects. AAM will mobilize private capital to invest in businesses and projects both within and beyond the Aker sphere. This will lay the foundation for continued long-term adaptation and value creation,” said Øyvind Eriksen.
Aker’s portfolio company Aker Horizons is a growth platform for technology and knowledge-based enterprises with a positive environmental impact.
“We are experiencing a great deal of interest from institutional investors who wish to join us in financing green projects. Aker Horizons is uniquely positioned to create attractive investment opportunities based on our technology and our access to a steady stream of new projects. With Slyngstad as CEO of AAM, we raise our ambition levels within active asset management in general and the energy transition in particular. We look forward to working closely with AAM,” said Kristian Røkke.
AAM’s remit will include funds dedicated to infrastructure and the energy transition. In addition, AAM will notably invest in companies through Private Equity (OrbeNovo), Venture Capital (Clara Venture Labs and Axis) and fund start-ups (RunwayFBU). AAM will be structured as an independent company with Aker as the majority owner and key people as co-owners. Slyngstad will own 5 percent of the shares in AAM. The board of AAM will consist of Øyvind Eriksen (chairman), Kristian Røkke and independent members with a background in international asset management.
AAM’s management will be based at Fornebu, with the aim of establishing offices in financial centers in Asia, Europe and the U.S. Once Slyngstad assumes his role, AAM will initiate an international recruitment campaign to fill the company’s key positions. In addition, processes are underway to build partnerships and investment teams with cutting-edge expertise within each asset management area.