Norges Bank Investment Management, the arm of the central bank which runs the NOK3trn (€385bn) Government Pension Fund Global, announced late on Friday that Chief Investment Officer Bengt Enge has stepped down with immediate effect.
Enge, who was based in London, joined NBIM in 1998 and was named CIO in 2009. He was appointed as part of a new senior team brought in after the fund suffered a return of -23.3% in 2008 in the wake of the financial crisis.
NBIM added that Chief Executive Yngve Slyngstad would take over the CIO role until a permanent replacement is in place. Enge had taken over from Slyngstad in the CIO role.
Enge’s departure was so sudden that his biographyand photo were still on the NBIM website at the weekend.
The news is important because the pension fund owns around 1% of all global listed equities and is one of the world’s most prominent responsible investors.
The departure follows the appointment last month of Chief Risk Officer Trond Grande to the post of deputy CEO.
In the most recent quarter for which figures are available, 2010’s third-quarter, the fund returned 7.2% – the fifth-largest in its history and 0.4 percentage points above benchmark. In October last year, the fund passed the symbolic NOK3trn mark for the first time.
NBIM’s next scheduled event is the publication of its 2010 annual report, due on March 18.