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Borea Welcomes New Majority Owner

Report: Systematic Strategies

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Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – Norwegian fund boutique Borea Asset Management has a new majority owner. A consortium of independent banks within Frendegruppen, Norway’s second-largest banking partnership with around 800,000 customers, has agreed to acquire a 70 percent stake in Borea. Pending regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2024. The banks in the Frendegruppen plan to begin offering Borea funds to their customers starting from the beginning of next year.

Headquartered in Bergen, Borea Asset Management oversees just over NOK 10 billion, equivalent to about €900 million, across one equity fund and four fixed-income-focused funds. Four of these funds operate as special funds regulated by Norway’s Financial Supervisory Authority, Finanstilsynet. Borea’s fund range is managed by portfolio managers Magnus Vie Sundal and Peer Hastrup Thorsheim, under the leadership of CIO Willy Helleland. With Frende banks as a majority owner, Borea Asset Management plans to strengthen the focus on fund products for the banks’ retail and corporate customers, providing clients access to a fund range previously accessible primarily to professional investors.

“We are excited about the new chapter Borea is entering,” announces Hilde Nødset, the CEO of Borea Asset Management. “The new owners share our values and commitment to delivering first-class management, investment advice, and customer service. Their presence will strengthen our capacity and resources, give us the opportunity to expand our product range, and offer even better services to our customers.”

“We are excited about the new chapter Borea is entering.”

Hilde Nødset, the CEO of Borea Asset Management.

“For quite some time, we have been looking for a good partner for a strong asset management initiative. Borea has impressed us with high-performing fund products in combination with efficient operations,” comments Geir Bergskaug, CEO of Sparebanken Sør, one of the banks in the Frendegruppen. “We believe Borea’s expertise and corporate culture provide a solid starting point for further scaling.” Bergskaug will assume the role of chairman of the company owning Borea on behalf of the banks. 

“For quite some time, we have been looking for a good partner for a strong asset management initiative. Borea has impressed us with high-performing fund products in combination with efficient operations.”

Geir Bergskaug, CEO of Sparebanken Sør, one of the banks in the Frendegruppen.

Heidi Nag Flikka, chairman of Frendegruppen’s interim board and CEO of Flekkefjord Sparebank, highlights that the acquisition will bolster the Frende banks’ market position. “We have a strong distribution network in the Frendegruppen. We are Norway’s second largest banking partnership with around 800,000 customers,” Nag Flikka tells BankShift. “The combination of Borea’s expertise and our distribution power will strengthen the competitiveness of the banks in the group,” she continues. “From January 1, 2025, we hope that our customers will find new and high-performing fund products in their investment solutions.”

“The combination of Borea’s expertise and our distribution power will strengthen the competitiveness of the banks in the group.”

Heidi Nag Flikka, chairman of Frendegruppen’s interim board and CEO of Flekkefjord Sparebank.

Current owners of Borea Asset Management, including Trond Mohn, Rieber & Søn, the Ulstein family, and employees, will retain a 30 percent stake in the company. “Borea has delivered impressive results so far, thanks to those who have built up the company. Several of them are employed by Borea, and their 30 percent ownership provides a strong incentive for them to stay on,” says Hans Olav Ingdal, General Manager of the Frendegruppen. Ingdal indicated that the banks have the option to increase their ownership share, with an agreed model for this process.

Established 22 years ago, Borea Asset Management has specialized in management capital for professional investors with higher minimum investment amounts, primarily through special funds. Borea CEO Hilde Nødset highlights the complexity involved in opening special funds to a broader audience. “We must be sure that those who invest in the special funds understand what they are investing in, so not all of our current funds may be accessible to customers of the Frende banks,” says Nødset. However, “We have extensive experience in managing fixed-income products, and will offer these in a format that is adapted to the mass market,” he emphasizes. “At the same time, we will increase our capacity and our range of mutual funds.”

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Eugeniu Guzun
Eugeniu Guzun
Eugeniu Guzun serves as a data analyst responsible for maintaining and gatekeeping the Nordic Hedge Index, and as a journalist covering the Nordic hedge fund industry for HedgeNordic. Eugeniu completed his Master’s degree at the Stockholm School of Economics in 2018. Write to Eugeniu Guzun at eugene@hedgenordic.com

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