“If synthetic intelligence makes higher artwork, what’s flawed with that?” High Norwegian investor and artwork collector Nikolaj Tengen | Sovereign Wealth Fund



FOr a prolific artwork collector, Nikolai Tengen is extraordinarily relaxed in regards to the prospect of masterpieces created by robots. The specter of AI-generated work, indistinguishable from human brushstrokes, is widespread Soul searching and paranoia in the world of arthowever not with legs.

“Hey, if it makes higher artwork, that is implausible,” says the Norwegian philanthropist, artwork historian and boss of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. “When you make one thing that is much more aesthetically pleasing, what’s flawed with that?”

Tangen’s personal gallery, a transformed granary within the Norwegian seaside resort of Kristiansand, will open later this 12 months to show one of many world’s largest collections of Nordic modernist artwork. Tangen has greater than 5,000 works by 300 artists. The originals and copies can be printed on the aspect. “There are some instances the place we predict artwork is de facto lovely. And we principally made a duplicate of what we had and hid it there as a substitute. Does it look much less lovely? N is n. So it is nearly your mindset.

Tangen is much less comfy in regards to the influence of synthetic intelligence on the greater than 9,000 firms that the £1.1tn Norwegian sovereign wealth fund – generally generally known as the Oil Fund – invests in. A wave of disruption has already begun to tear by means of the inventory market: final month nearly £1bn worth of scrapped A US rival of educational writer Pearson has warned after a major spike in pupil curiosity in ChatGPT, the unreal intelligence program.

“AI is so extremely huge. Invoice Gates says it is extra necessary than computer systems, the Web, and so forth.,” says Tengen. “We’ll have lots of property due to AI, as a result of should you’re on the flawed aspect of it, you are going to be worn out fairly rapidly. So I believe within the subsequent few quarters we will begin seeing his victims; Share costs will comply with. It is too quick.”

Tangen is deploying AI throughout the fund, utilizing predictive fashions to cut back the 36m trades it makes every year – with its objective of enhancing central fund efficiency by 10% a 12 months. He desires to see “correct, world regulation” in order that AI is developed ethically. “How are you going to be sure that it isn’t harming you due to race or issues like that?” he stated.

Tangen, 56, barrel-chested in an open-necked blue shirt, sits within the Mayfair workplaces of Norges Financial institution Funding Administration (NBIM), the funding arm of the Oslo-based sovereign wealth fund.

The fund was created following the invention of an unlimited offshore oil area in 1969 following Norway’s resolution to speculate North Sea oil and fuel revenues in a fund to completely profit its residents. This resolution (which Britain failed to copy with its North. Sea fuel wealth) has paid off handsomely because the first revenues deposited into the fund in 1996.

A ticker on the fund’s residence web page strikes in the wrong way. It owns 1.4% of the world’s listed firms and Tangen makes use of that affect on shareholder votes – and by questioning the bosses of these firms on his podcast, In good firm.

The fund lately punished US oil firms ExxonMobil and Chevron, backing strikes by local weather activist teams to comply with them of their shareholder conferences urging them to do extra to deal with the local weather disaster. However notably it additionally supported the BP’s board, Despite its boss Bernard Looney’s decision to water down climate change hopes.

Is there an inherent hypocrisy on the coronary heart of Norges’ lecture on decarbonisation, and? Rapid adoption of electric cars in Norway? The nation grows wealthy from oil and fuel revenues, the devastating penalties of worldwide warming and the local weather disaster.

“I all the time get this query [about hypocrisy] In Britain and Sweden,” Tangen says. “I do not assume it’s; I do not assume it is unethical to develop oil and fuel. You are simply growing the sources you may have. After which Our job is to speculate it in the easiest way, to generate returns in a very accountable means. So that is what we do. oil And fuel, and fuel particularly, is a part of the power answer for a few years to come back.

Why not give the strongest doable sign to the worst oil firms and promote outright?

“You are able to do two issues when you may have these situations,” he says. “You possibly can both cut up. Who’re the shareholders of those firms? Nicely, the individuals who do not care. Or you possibly can keep and attempt to persuade them, work with them.

“And I believe it is a bit of bit like a wedding. Sure, you possibly can divorce instantly. Or you possibly can keep, and attempt to discuss to your accomplice.

Will the dialog talk about local weather change with Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg on her podcast?

“Nicely, I often interview individuals who run firms after we make investments. She would not run an organization the place we make investments,” he says sheepishly. “I believe it is fantastic that Now we have younger individuals who care, who interact themselves and put a few of these matters on the desk. That is only a basic assertion.

Will future generations look again on how we, and Norway, have used the Earth’s pure sources? A pause is prolonged for about 20 seconds earlier than Tangen solutions. “I have no idea.”

It has been a tough 12 months for Narges: the fund misplaced 1.63tn kronor (£118bn) in 2022 as shares and bonds tumbled after Russia invaded Ukraine and central banks raised rates of interest amid rising inflation.

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“I was the biggest loser the world has ever seen,” he laughed. “No one in the history of the world has ever lost so much money.” But, he adds, the fund lost less than the rest of the market, and the Norwegians are accepting the loss.

“Norway has a surprisingly good understanding that things go up and down. And I think it’s because our roots are back to hunter-gatherers, fishermen, that’s where our industry and our incomes are at a premium.

“I walk through town or sit at a restaurant or ski slope, and everyone wants to talk about the fund. And they love it and they feel a big part of it.

From the age of 14, it was Tangen’s mission to work in the city. ” London, Finance, Bang. It was just my dream. I just thought that London was the financial center of the world and that’s where you make it.

He turned that dream into reality: Tengen worked at the Mayfair hedge fund Egerton Capital, and in 2005 he founded his own fund, AKO Capital, named after his children. By 2020 The Sunday Times The Rich List puts his wealth at £550 million.

But in between he was able to take a career break at the age of 36, to study history at the Courtauld Institute of Art. the art in London. “I had a period where I reduced my earnings,” he smiles. “I started collecting art very seriously, just wanting to put all my knowledge into it.

During his 30 years living in London, he has seen its rise and fall, especially since Brexit. “I love the British.” But it has some challenges on the back of Brexit.

Can London reclaim its preeminence as a financial centre? “I think it’s very difficult to say.”

In 2020, Tengen joined Norges as chief executive, not before transferring his stake in the hedge fund to the AKO Foundation, a charitable fund that supports causes ranging from educational charity TeachFirst to galleries including the Tate and the British Museum. helps

Tengen has promised to give away all his money before he dies. “I want to die with zero.” People who want to die rich have got it all wrong. I have hardly met anyone so fortunate as to have inherited so much wealth. You took away all the meaning of life from your children. I think that is the worst thing you can do to a child.

His three children have come to terms with their devastating legacy, he says. “They’re fine with it. This did not go down well with the politicians and other rich people of the country.


the age 56
family Married with three grown children.
education Finance at the Wharton School, Pennsylvania; Russian Studies at the School of Intelligence and Security of the Norwegian Armed Forces; Masters in Art History from the Courtauld Institute; Masters in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics.
pay £550,000
last leave London
He has been given the best advice “Always go for the hardest thing.”
Big mistake of career “I don’t think I’ve made many of them.”
The phrase he uses a lot “Onward and upward.”
How does he relax? “I take a 10-15 minute nap every afternoon on the sofa in the office. It really re-energizes me. This is scientifically proven – fighter pilots do it, for example, and it can really increase your flight time.


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