Norges Financial institution’s CEO hosts a podcast with Elon Musk, Michael O’Leary and Ana Botin amongst its visitors

It’s exhausting to have guessed that Santander’s Ana Botín, a trailblazer in world finance, was contemplating being a journalist or a spy earlier than changing into a banker. Or that UBS’s boomerang CEO Sergio Ermotti was as soon as a gifted soccer participant, whereas Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary hated accountancy. 

These are simply a few of the candid tidbits the world’s most essential leaders disclose of their interviews with the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund’s chief, Nicolai Tangen, on his podcast “In Good Company.”

His roster of distinguished visitors consists of CEOs of corporations that the $1.6 trillion sovereign fund owns or invests in. The Norges Financial institution Funding Administration, because it’s formally recognized, manages Norway’s huge oil and fuel revenues. In 2023, the fund made $213 billion in income. 

Its tentacles attain a few of the world’s largest corporations, from Apple to LVMH and Nestlé, totaling almost 9,000 companies worldwide. With that affect comes direct entry to interact with the world’s prime leaders.    

Tangen’s purpose together with his distinguished visitors is to have them serve “a bit of their secret sauce” to listeners, he stated in a video introducing the podcast. 

“We aim to be the most transparent fund in the world,” Tangen advised the Wall Street Journal in an interview. “I thought, you know, we own all these companies, we own big stakes, we actually have access to these CEOs.”

Certainly, the guestlist consists of illustrious executives from varied industries—and notably some who hardly ever supply public interviews, not to mention one-off podcast episodes. 

Take this week’s visitor, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Musk weighed in on the fast tempo of synthetic intelligence breakthroughs, his hurdles with constructing xAI, and the prospect of colonizing Mars in dialog with Tangen. 

The Norges Financial institution head launched the podcast in 2022, with former BP chief Bernard Looney as his first visitor. 

Firstly of every episode, Tangen opens with a line on the stake—usually value billions of {dollars}—that the sovereign wealth fund holds within the firm whose CEO he’s interviewing. 

When chatting with the completely different chiefs, Tangen asks a mixture of hard-hitting and insightful questions. 

In one in every of his early episodes, Tangen requested Goldman Sachs’s David Solomon how being a DJ helped him be a greater chief. Shortly after, he additionally probed Solomon on whether or not he thinks being CEO and chair of the financial institution’s board is the appropriate construction. 

In a separate episode, Tangen requested Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, who he described as “one of the funniest people” he’s met, whether or not providing rock-bottom fares is sweet for the atmosphere.   

Though the oil fund’s podcast has celebrated (and generally, controversial) leaders on its invitee listing, it’s nonetheless not almost as well-known. It has about three million downloads in complete, the Norwegian fund advised the Journal. 

Nonetheless, the podcast is a crucial endeavor for Norges Financial institution, with a workforce (generally together with portfolio managers) tasked with making ready for interviews. And maybe bringing company juggernauts to reply candid questions is a win in itself.    

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