The governor of Norway’s Central Bank has admitted he did not foresee that the appointment of hedge fund billionnaire Nicolai Tangen as the new leader of Norway's NOK 10.3trn (EUR 970bn) sovereign wealth fund would cause a "storm".
Answering questions in a finance committee hearing on Monday, Øystein Olsen said: “We were aware that the appointment would attract attention. But, well, we did not foresee this whole storm that has happened,” reports IPE.com.
The governor of Norway’s Central Bank was questioned by parliamentarians earlier this week about his handling of the highly-controversial hiring of Tangen as the new leader of the sovereign wealth fund.
Olsen’s testimony to the cross-party panel follows that of Julie Brodtkorb, the leader of Norges Bank’s supervisory council.
Brodtkorb told the politicians the conflict of interest was still present, even though complex efforts had been made by the bank and Tangen to separate him from his financial interests during his coming tenure as CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
Asked by the committee’s leader, Labour Party Member of Parliament Hadia Tajik, about the handling of the appointment by Norges Bank’s executive board – which Olsen leads – and how it could affect the reputation of Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), Brodtkorb said:
"We do not want to give opinions or make statements about what the consequences are, but we note that there have been violations of guidelines, rules and laws."