NBIM forms RE ‘leader group’ as it ramps up

Global CIO Karsten Kallevig is joined by a chief risk officer, a chief operating officer and a chief administration officer as the manager of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund ramps up its real estate investing activities.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the manager of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, has restructured the leadership behind its real estate investment activities.

In an announcement, NBIM, which manages the $873 billion Government Pension Fund Global, said it had created a ‘leader group’ for real estate as part of a wider reorganisation that fits with its strategies for the fund and improves its controls and compliance functions.

The firm said in the announcement: “A separate leader group for real estate is being set up to provide increased managerial resources ahead of the upcoming enlargement of the real estate organisation.”

Indeed, an NBIM spokesman confirmed to PERE today how it is building its real estate team from the ‘top down’ and is plotting to quadruple the size of the team from 50 to 200 staff within the next three years. That objective runs in tandem with ambitions to invest one percent of the fund in private real estate in each of the next three years.

The group will now be led jointly by chief investment officer Karsten Kallevig, who essentially kick-started NBIM’s real estate investment strategy after joining from private equity real estate firm Grove International Partners at the beginning of 2011; Lars Dahl as chief risk officer; Nina Hammerstad as chief operating officer; and Mie Holstad as chief administration officer.

Dahl is yet to join NBIM from Norwegian insurance firm Storebrand but is expected move across before October 1. He will be responsible for risk assessments relating to the fund’s real estate investments.

Hammerstad, an existing employee of NBIM, is responsible for “operational side of real estate investments. Holstad, also an existing employee, is responsible for the administrative side of NBIM’s real estate division and its investments.

They will report to NBIM’s deputy chief executive officer Trond Grande.

“We’re strengthening the management of the fund’s real estate investments by setting up a separate leader group for real estate. We’re aligning our investment department with the fund’s main strategies, and we’re strengthening our risk and control activities,” Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of NBIM said in the announcement.

The news of the reorganisation comes as NBIM posts its second quarter performance. In its presentation of the quarter, the firm said the fund’s real estate investments returned 3 percent in the quarter. The return was a collective of rental income, valuation change, debt levels, exchange rate movements and transaction costs.