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Top manager of the world's largest sovereign wealth fund: Norwegian Jon Nicolaisen resigns - because of his Chinese wife


Jon Nicolaisen has helped shape the course of Norway's sovereign wealth fund for years. Now he is stepping down with immediate effect because the authorities have not given him another security clearance.

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: Norway's Deputy Central Bank

Governor Jon Nicolaisen.

Photo: David Stubbs / REUTERS

Jon Nicolaisen

(61) was previously just the deputy governor of the Norwegian central bank.

But it plays an important role in the financial markets.

In his role, he oversaw the Norwegian State Fund (NBIM), which is worth around $ 1.2 trillion.

Together with the recently appointed NBIM boss

Nicolai Tangen

(54) and his predecessor

Yngve Slyngstadt

(58), he has determined the investment policy of the world's largest sovereign wealth fund - and thus the wealth of the country.

Until now at least.

On this Friday, Nicolaisen surprisingly announced his immediate resignation because his application for renewed security clearance had been rejected - because of his Chinese wife.

"The Norwegian Civil Security Clearance Agency has informed me that I will not receive a new security clearance because my wife is a Chinese citizen and lives in China, where I support her financially," said Nicolaisen.

There is no doubt about him personally or his behavior, but that is not enough.

"I now had to draw the conclusions from it."

Norway's strict security policy thus claims a prominent victim.

The NATO state has become stricter in terms of security clearances in recent years, which causes problems in particular for couples if one of the spouses comes from a country with which Norway does not have security cooperation.

Behind this is the concern to defend the country's wealth.

Norway is Western Europe's largest oil producer with a daily oil and gas production of around 4 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The Norwegian PST secret service had only announced on Thursday that Russia, China and other countries would use espionage to uncover secrets about the Norwegian oil industry and the Norwegian government's plans to reduce or increase oil and gas production.

According to the central bank, Nicolaisen has been married to his wife since 2010.

He has been Deputy Governor of Norges Bank since 2014 and was only appointed for a second term in April of this year.

In his role, he was involved in monetary policy and was responsible for overseeing the NBIM, where the country manages revenues from its gas and oil operations.

Nicolaisen had done his job as a close colleague and competent specialist, said central bank

chief Oeystein Olsen

(68) in a statement.

lhy / Reuters

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2020-12-05

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