Stavanger, Norway, 11-11-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Following more than twenty years as a successful partner-owned and operated asset manager, SKAGEN is today initiating the next phase of the company`s development.
Our continued success will be built upon our existing strengths; namely a stable investment philosophy and process, a well-diversified client base, and a sustainable and independent ownership structure. As part of our strategy, we are pleased to announce the following:
SKAGEN’s founders are currently working with its Board of Directors to explore options for a transition in the company’s ownership. This progression seeks to secure equity within the firm, to enable effective decision-making, and to guarantee SKAGEN’s independence. The Board’s priority is to ensure stable delivery of investment performance and service to our clients, while attracting and retaining the best talent over the long-term. A further update will be provided in the first half of 2015.
Leif Ola Rød appointed SKAGEN CEO
Leif Ola Rød will replace Harald Espedal as CEO on 1st January 2015. Harald has held this position since he joined SKAGEN in 2002 and under his leadership the company has successfully grown both in Norway and internationally. As SKAGEN now embarks on the next phase in its development, Harald has decided that the time is right to step down and leave the company to pursue other interests.Leif Ola is currently SKAGEN’s Head of Business Support and Compliance, having joined in 2012 from Odin Fund Management where he was CEO. He has more than 20 years’ Nordic and international asset management experience, including as a member of the Corporate Executive Committee at SpareBank1.
Ole Søeberg appointed Investment Director
Ole Søeberg will replace Harald as SKAGEN’s Investment Director on 1st January 2015, a position Harald has held since 2011. Ole, who will retain his current position as Co-Lead Portfolio Manager of SKAGEN Vekst, has 30 years capital market experience including leadership roles at Carnegie, Alfred Berg, TDC, and Tryg AS before he joined SKAGEN in 2011. He was on the Board of SKAGEN AS from 2007 to 2011.
Portfolio management update
Knut Gezelius appointed Lead Portfolio Manager, SKAGEN Global
Knut Gezelius will replace Kristian Falnes as Lead Portfolio Manager of SKAGEN Global from 11th November 2014. Kristian joined SKAGEN in 1997 and has led the Global team since 2010. He has been a partner in the business since 2003 and has decided to step down after a period of handover to pursue other interests as the company enters this next phase in its evolution.Knut, who is currently a portfolio manager in the SKAGEN Global team, joined in May 2014 from Goldman Sachs Asset Management in London where he was an Executive Director in the Global Equity team. Previously, Knut held the positions of Senior Lead Analyst at Entergy Corporation in Houston and Senior Consultant at Applied Value Group in Boston.
Knut Harald Nilsson appointed Co-Lead Portfolio Manager, SKAGEN Kon-Tiki
Knut Harald Nilsson will become Co-Lead Portfolio Manager of SKAGEN Kon-Tiki alongside Kristoffer Stensrud from 11th November 2014. Knut Harald has over 20 years’ industry experience including 8 years as a Kon-Tiki portfolio manager. Previously he was Senior Financial Analyst at Deutsche Bank in London, and before that Senior Analyst with Alfred Berg, also in London.
Filip Weintraub re-joins SKAGEN to launch new fund
Finally, Filip Weintraub will rejoin SKAGEN in January 2015 to head a new fund. Filip, who was previously Lead Portfolio Manager of SKAGEN Global from 2001 to 2010, will be joined in running the new high-conviction long-only global equity fund by Jonas Edholm, currently CEO and portfolio manager at the Labrusca Family Office. Jonas has 20 years industry experience including more than 10 years as a portfolio and risk manager.
Martin Gjelsvik, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented:
“The Board of Directors would like to thank Harald and Kristian for their contributions to SKAGEN over many years. They have both played an important part in the company’s success and we wish them both well in their future endeavours. SKAGEN has great strength in depth and we would like to congratulate Leif Ola Rød, Ole Søeberg, Knut Gezelius and Knut Harald Nilsson on their new roles.We are also excited to be exploring options for a new ownership structure for the company, one that creates opportunities and secures the long-term interests of clients, employees and owners alike.”
Kristoffer Stensrud, SKAGEN Founder, added:
“Continuity at SKAGEN is very important and three important things remain unchanged: our independence, our commitment to clients and our proven value-based investment philosophy. The current portfolio management team is the strongest I have known at SKAGEN and with the addition of Filip and Jonas from next year I have great confidence in our ability to deliver the best possible risk-adjusted returns for our clients in future.”
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