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Slyngstad steps down as Norges CEO but will remain to focus on unlisted renewables

He will focus on unlisted renewable energy infrastructure as a new investment area

Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the arm of the Norwegian central bank which runs the assets of the Government Pension Fund Global, has resigned from the role after 12 years – but will remain to focus on renewable energy investments.

He made the announcement today as Norges released its latest results – in which the fund reported returns of 1.6% in the third quarter of 2019 – and just days after the fund surpassed NOK10trn (€1trn) for the first time.

Slyngstad will remain in his position until a new CEO is found; he said he was proud of having been part of building up a leading international investment organisation with talented and professional employees, saying: “ We have delivered good returns for the best of our nation.”

Central Bank Governor Øystein Olsen said the Executive Board was “very satisfied” with the management of the fund under Slyngstad and that the board will now start a search for a new CEO of NBIM.

NBIM said in a statement: “After a new CEO has taken up the position, Slyngstad will continue in the fund, and contribute to the further development of the investment strategy. His responsibilities will include building up unlisted renewable energy infrastructure as a new investment area.“Slyngstad’s experience and insight will help ensure that this investment area is established in a good way.”

In February this year, RI reported that NBIM had terminated its external environmental mandates and moved the c.NOK20bn (€2bn) assets in-house to cut costs.

“His responsibilities will include building up unlisted renewable energy infrastructure as a new investment area.”

He won’t be the first former NBIM CEO to go green. His predecessor Knut Kjaer, founding CEO, recently teamed up with an ex-bond trader at Sweden’s AP4 in an effort to launch a green credit fund.

The third-quarter report showed NBIM had 704 meetings with companies during the quarter and raised governance or sustainability issues at half of these meetings; the most important issues raised concerned corporate governance, climate change and other environmental issues, social issues, board composition and executive pay.

Earlier this month NBIM said it aims to be able to publish all of its voting intentions ahead of company meetings by the end of 2022 as part of a new strategy plan, having disclosed how it voted at AGMs since 2013.