Norway's SWF completes executive hiring spree

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It's no secret that Norway's gargantuan NOK2.47 trillion ($410bn) sovereign wealth fund had a torrid 2008, when it recorded losses which wiped out 23% of its value. As a result, its investment arm is now close to completing an extensive shake-up of its executive team, aimed at significantly strengthening its risk management capabilities.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which overseas Europe's largest SWF, Government Pension Fund - Global, has hired a new management team.

Stephen Hirsh is the new deputy chief executive, Bengt Enge has been promoted to the position of chief investment officer, Trond Grande to chief risk officer and Age Bakker to chief operating officer.

It's also signalled its intentions to expand overseas with the recruitment of top investment bankers from bulge bracket firms. Mark Clemens joins from Citigroup to take the post of chief administrative officer and Jessica Irschick from UBS as treasurer.

NBIM has also been hiring for its UK office this year.

The firm said that the hires marked "the final phase of an extensive reorganisation at Norges Bank Investment Management that started with the appointment of Yngve Slyngstad as chief executive in January 2008".

Slyngstad himself said: "Norges Bank Investment Management now has a management team with considerable international financial markets experience."

NBIM has yet to announce an appointment for the position of chief compliance officer.

The fund lost 23.3% of its value last year, but ruled out making any redundancies within its 217-strong team. In fact, the firm now employs 230 people, according to Slyngstad.

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