Nicolai Tangen

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Nicolai Tangen
Born (1966-08-10) 10 August 1966 (age 57)
EducationNorwegian School of Economics
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (BA)
Courtauld Institute of Art (MA)
London School of Economics (MSc)
OccupationHedge fund manager
Known forFounder of AKO Capital

Nicolai Tangen (born 10 August 1966)[1] is a Norwegian hedge fund manager who founded AKO Capital. He is credited with holding the biggest private collection of modernist Nordic art in the world.[2][3] He has since September 2020 been CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, tasked with managing the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is the largest publicly held financial fund in the world, owning approximately 1.4% of the world’s listed companies.[4]

Tangen has actively funded initiatives within arts and education through the AKO Foundation.[5]

In 2019, he was placed 6th in The Sunday Times Giving List, which ranks philanthropists from the UK based upon the proportion of personal wealth that they have given away each year.[6]

The Sunday Times Rich List in 2020 estimated Tangen's net worth at £550 million, an increase of £50 million from the previous year.[7]

In 2020, his appointment as the chief executive officer (CEO) at Norges Bank Investment Management, responsible for managing the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund (Statens Pensjonsfond Utland)[8] proved extremely controversial[9][10] with some sources describing it as “the biggest crisis in the fund’s 24-year history.”[11]


Tangen was trained in interrogation and translation in the Norwegian Intelligence Service, before he attended the Norwegian School of Economics and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate during 1988-92.

He holds master's degrees in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London and in social psychology from the London School of Economics.[12] He has education as a cook.[13]


Tangen was an analyst at Cazenove & Co. before moving to Egerton Capital in 1997.[14]

Tangen left Egerton Capital in 2002. In 2005, he launched AKO Capital, a London-based hedge fund, which has £10.8 billion of assets under management.[15][16]

The Sunday Times ranked him among the 20 most successful hedge fund managers in the UK in its 2018 Rich List.[17]

In March 2020, it was announced that Tangen would replace Yngve Slyngstad as CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management in September 2020. Tangen is responsible for investing the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.[18] His appointment became extremely controversial as a result of circumstances around the appointment.[10][9] The Norwegian parliament's finance committee unanimously decided to instruct the minister of finance to intervene, making sure there would be no conflict of interests.[19] Tangen then decided to sell out of AKO Capital, transferring the values and ownership to the charity organisation AKO Foundation. He also started transferring his personal fortune to a Norwegian bank account, meeting the public political demands at his own expense, being able to start as CEO in September 2020.[20]


Tangen founded the AKO Foundation in April 2013, which focuses on education and the arts. The AKO Foundation has provided funding for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Teach First, the London School of Economics, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and The Courtauld Institute of Art.[21] The Sunday Times reported in May 2019 that Tangen has given away more than £100 million to education and arts projects through his foundation.[22] In October 2018, Tangen and his wife Katja donated $25 million to the University of Pennsylvania through the AKO Foundation. The funds will be used to create a new campus building, to be named Tangen Hall, and to establish an international scholarship fund.[23] Tangen has already supported 22 University of Pennsylvania students with scholarships since 2012. He also serves on Wharton’s Board of Overseers.[24]

Tangen will gift his Nordic art collection to a Norwegian foundation as part of a new project planned in his hometown of Kristiansand, Norway.[25] He has supported the conversion of a grain silo into a new museum, the Kunstsilo Museum, which is set to be completed in 2021.[21] Tangen has sponsored The London Munch exhibition at the British Museum, which is the UK’s largest exhibition of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch for nearly 50 years. The exhibition opened in April 2019.[3][26]

Personal life[edit]

Tangen is originally from Kristiansand, Norway.[21] He is married to Katja and they have three children together.[27]

In May 2019, it was announced that Tangen and his wife Katja had joined The Giving Pledge, committing at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes during their lifetime or in their will.[28]


  1. ^ Garvik, Olav; Aspøy, Arild; Pettersen, Stig Arild (28 August 2020). "Nicolai Tangen". Great Norwegian Encyclopedia (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  2. ^ Pickford, James (8 January 2019). "Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' comes to the British Museum". Financial Times. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "British Museum to stage major show of Munch prints". Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Norway's sovereign-wealth fund passes the $1trn mark". The Economist. 23 September 2017. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 13 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Charity Details". Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  6. ^ "The Sunday Times". Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  7. ^ Times, The Sunday. "Rich List 2020: profiles 201‑300=". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Norges Bank press release". Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  9. ^ a b Henriksen, Espen; Schmalz, Martin (10 August 2020). "The economic objectives of the "Oil Fund"". BI Business Review. Retrieved 19 August 2020. You don't want 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen on the Norwegian ski jumping team just because "he's good at sports".
  10. ^ a b Milne, Richard (29 May 2020). "Nicolai Tangen, next chief of Norway's sovereign wealth fund". Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  11. ^ Milne, Richard (25 August 2020). "Norway oil fund chief drama has exposed weaknesses in country's model". Financial Times.
  12. ^ "Login". Retrieved 5 March 2019.[dead link]
  13. ^ Nygaard, Arnfinn (10 October 2020). "Tangen vil ha flere kvinner: – Det må gå fort". NRK (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  14. ^ Beresford, Philip (25 November 2012). "The Hedge Fund Rich List". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Numen Capital hires ex-Egerton investment analyst to lead new fund". Reuters. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  16. ^ Times, The Sunday (4 November 2018). "Revolt among wetherspoons investors over bumper pay rise for finance chief Ben Whitley". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Login". Retrieved 5 March 2019.[dead link]
  18. ^ "The Hedge Fund Manager Tapped to Lead Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund". Institutional Investor. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  19. ^ Skjebnemøtet om Tangen i Stortinget: – Vi ligger an til å samles om kritikk (Destiny-meeting about Tangen in the parliament: We are about to agree on criticism),
  20. ^ Nicolai Tangen selger seg ut av Ako Capital (Nicolai Tangen sells out of Ako Capital)
  21. ^ a b c Berglihn, Harald (13 February 2018). "Kunstsiloen i boks". Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Rich List 2019: profiles 251-298=". The Sunday Times. 12 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Wharton School receives $25 million gift from Nicolai Tangen and AKO Foundation". Penn Today. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  24. ^ DiStefano, Joseph N. "Hedge fund grad gives Wharton $25M for Tangen Hall". Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  25. ^ "More Than 30 Works By Edvard Munch Are Missing From Oslo. Did University Students Steal Them?". artnet News. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  26. ^ Arts Correspondent, David Sanderson (9 January 2019). "Edvart Munch's prints of darkness in British Museum exhibition". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  27. ^ Marthinussen, Linn-Christin (27 April 2020). "Fikk hjelp av avhørsekspert i Kripos". (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  28. ^ Schultz, Abby. "MacKenzie Bezos Among 19 Billionaires Joining the Giving Pledge". Retrieved 29 May 2019.

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