New SKAGEN Kon-Tiki portfolio manager lands from Shanghai
After several years working in London and most recently in China for Morgan Stanley and Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) respectively, Fredrik Bjelland has returned to his home town of Stavanger to follow his dream of being portfolio manager of SKAGEN Kon-Tiki.
Portfolio manager Fredrik Bjelland comes from a managerial position in NBIM in Shanghai to join Knut Harald Nilsson and Cathrine Gether on the SKAGEN Kon-Tiki portfolio team in Stavanger. Although the contrast between the west coast of Norway and metropolis on China's east coast could hardly be greater, the change of scenery is a welcome one for Bjelland. After a successful career in China where he was portfolio manager and Head of China, Special Mandates, Bjelland now says he will be fulfilling a dream when he joins the portfolio management team of one of Scandinavia's most successful global equity funds on 28 August 2017.
"I grew up in Stavanger and have followed SKAGEN from afar, seeing how they have helped change the fund market in Norway. The investment philosophy and unique history have always appealed to me, and it is a company I've long wanted to join. I think the timing is perfect with SKAGEN facing exciting new developments that I look forward to being a part of," says Fredrik.
Broad experience and strong network
In Shanghai, Fredrik was in charge of China and special mandates. He led a team of Chinese colleagues, focusing on long-term, value-based and active stock selection. This gave him a unique understanding of a market that can be difficult to get full insight into. It requires a strong network and good knowledge of the mechanisms that govern the markets in China and the region surrounding this vast country.
"Of course I am bringing a number of exciting investment ideas with me from China. Having a good network can be very useful when it comes to understanding the market. At the same time, I look forward to working with an even broader geographical mandate and to returning to markets that I worked with in previous positions," he adds. Fredrik has over the years focused on markets including Europe, Russia and South America before joining NIBIM.
Far from the noise
Fredrik Bjelland has already relocated to Stavanger with his family in order to sit close to the team and the other portfolio managers in SKAGEN. Although Fredrik's job will require long journeys to the other side of the world to visit companies in various countries and regions, he sees advantages in being at a slight distance from it all. It can be difficult to stop yourself from being swept along when you are in the midst of the rapid developments taking place in a number of emerging markets.
"I will undoubtedly miss the raw energy and entrepreneurship prevalent throughout China. It is a region of massive development where you get the feeling that anything is possible. It is no longer the only production unit in the world, but it is still a very independent and powerful nation. So it can also be healthy to see things from the outside when you are a long-term and value based manager trying to see beyond the bubbles and sudden shifts in mood," explains Bjelland.
In NBIM Fredrik Bjelland made a name for himself for his strong fundamental equity analysis skills and solid results. Prior to living in Shanghai, he worked in London as an equity analyst for Morgan Stanley amongst other things.
Fredrik Bjelland joins SKAGEN as portfolio manager of SKAGEN Kon-Tiki on 28 August 2017.