New research centre at NHH

Argentum Centre for Private Equity

NHH opens the first research centre for private equity in the Nordic countries on Wednesday, 1 February 2012.

01.02.2012 - Hallvard Lyssand

«Argentum Centre for Private Equity» will be established as a joint initiative between NHH and players from the Norwegian financial sector in connection with Argentum's 10th anniversary.

Private equity (PE) is the term used to describe long-term investments in unlisted companies with high growth potential.

Private equity funds contribute expertise and capital to develop the companies they invest in.

'The goal is to produce objective and independent research of high quality on topics relating to private equity in the financial sector. The research centre will increase our knowledge about how private equity works and its contribution to enterprises, investors and society,' says Jan I Haaland, rector at NHH.

New in the Nordic countries

«Argentum Centre for Private Equity» will be the first independent research centre of its kind in the Nordic countries, and one of very few in Europe. Private equity is relatively new in Europe compared with the USA, and little research has been done in this field.

'Private equity is becoming more and more common as a form of ownership. This raises questions that we believe research can help find the answers to,' says Associate Professor Carsten Bienz of NHH, who will be head of the centre.

The Norwegian and Nordic PE sector has grown considerably in the past decade, and it is an important source of capital for companies. For example, Norwegian private equity funds managed NOK 61 billion in 2011, up from NOK 7.5 billion in 2001.

'Private equity is a young sector in Norway. Scholarly analyses of our role and function will be useful. It is particularly important to examine value creation and our socio-economic importance. As a former NHH student, it is a great pleasure to be able to contribute,' says Tellef Thorleifsson, partner in Northzone.

NOK 8 million in funding

Together with HitecVision, Energy Ventures, PWC, Norvestor Equity, Northzone and BA-HR, Argentum will contribute NOK 8 million in funding for the research centre over a period of five years. The contributors strongly believe that, through objective research, the research centre will contribute to development of the market and the field, and generally increase knowledge about private equity.

The centre is named after Argentum, which has played an important role in the development of the Norwegian private equity sector.

'It is important to Argentum that the sector continues to develop. A research centre at NHH can contribute to this by creating greater understanding for how this class of assets functions and the ripple effects it has. We at Argentum are proud to be able to contribute to the establishment of the centre,' says CEO Joachim Høegh-Krohn.

Further information:

- Associate Professor Carsten Bienz, NHH, mobile 986 20 106, email:

- Acting Director of Communications NHH, Kristin Risvand Mo, mobile: 915 99 661, email:

- Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer, Head of Business Development & Investor Relations, Argentum, mobile 950 60 034, email:

About «Argentum Centre for Private Equity»

The centre will have a board consisting of representatives from academia, the business community, society at large and the PE sector. The board will have overall responsibility for funding and for deciding the centre's strategic direction. The board will appoint an academic committee consisting of representatives from leading institutions in Europe and the USA.

NHH researchers attached to the centre are Associate Professor Carsten Bienz (head of centre), Professor Karin S Thorburn and Assistant Professor Tyler Hull, while the following will also contribute: Professor Liam Brunt, Professor Tore Leite, post-doctor Aksel Mjøs, Professor Jarle Møen, Assistant Professor Tiago Pinheiro, Assistant Professor Michael Kisser, Assistant Professor Francisco Santos and Professor Guttorm Schjelderup.

The research will be independent of the PE sector, while at the same time also being relevant and addressing questions of concern to society and the sector. The centre's board will therefore have a broad composition. Widar Salbuvik will be chair of the board. He has wide-ranging business experience, among other things as one of the founders of Pareto Securities, and he has been chair of the board of companies such as Norwegian Properties and Argentum.

The other members are: Ole Melberg, managing partner in Energy Ventures and former CEO of Smedvig ASA; Hans Olav Karde, CEO of Sparebank1 Nord-Norge; Gerd Kristiansen,Vice President of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO); Trond E Olsen, professor at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH); Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer, Head of Business Development & Investor Relations in Argentum; and Jon Haugervåg, partner in PwC.

The running and infrastructure of the research centre are funded through donations from Argentum, together with HitecVision, Energy Ventures, PwC, Norvestor Equity, Northzone and legal firm BA-HR. The researchers are employed by NHH.

About private equity (PE)

Private equity is a class of assets that comprises private equity funds' long-term investments in unlisted companies. The investors share the risk and potential with the companies' management and other investors. Private equity can be divided into three main types: Seed (investments in seed corn enterprises), Venture (investments in start-ups and relatively young growth companies) and Buyout (investments in mature companies).

Private equity funds raise investment capital from Limited Partners (LPs). They can be pension funds, private investors, banks and insurance companies. The funds have an investment strategy that describes in more detail what type of companies they will invest in. For example, funds can invest in companies in different industries and of varying size.

Each fund is managed by a fund manager (General Partner/GP). They are responsible for selecting the best investment objects for the fund. Private equity funds work actively on the companies' development and operation, normally over a period of between three and ten years.


Energy Ventures
Norvestor Equity

Redaktør: Astri Kamsvåg
Ansvarleg redaktør: Kristin Risvand Mo

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