Permian | Permian appoints recognized leader from the fund industry
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Permian appoints recognized leader from the fund industry

Rune Selmar takes on the role as managing director at Permian Fund Services AS. With his previous experience as CEO in the National Insurance Fund (Folketrygdfondet) and more recently as both CEO and investment director at Odin Fund Management, Rune holds an admirable CV. He is eager to share his expertise with the employees of Permian. 

It is an actionable and professionally strong leader who is now strengthening Permian. Permian Fund Services AS is an AIF-licenced fund manager, offering AIF-licence sharing to qualified fund managers. Permian FundHotel makes fund managers able to strengthen their governance and focus their time on portfolio management, in a cost and time efficient way. Sharing economy at its best.  

Rune Selmar was until recently the CEO of Odin Fund Management, and during his first years at Odin, he had to really turn the ship around to enable growth:

–          When I first started at Odin, costs were as high as income, fund return was weak redemptions  exceeded new subscriptions. During my seven years at the company, we went from NOK 24 billion to NOK 60 billion in assets. Results went from zero to around NOK 80 million and staff was reduced from 80 employees to around 60. 

Occasionally, he was acting as both managing and investment director. The turnaround required Rune to adopt a hands-on approach to the operational side of the business while supporting the ever-important work of shaping the company’s investment methodology. 

Before joining Odin, Rune was a director of the aid organization Norfund, an organization owned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs investing in small- and medium-sized companies in emerging economies (mainly Asia, Africa and Latin America). During his time at Norfund, Rune travelled the world to get to know the portfolio companies. 

Dare to try, but keep your feet on the ground 

Despite an impressive resume, Rune has never perceived himself as particularly ambitious, leaving an impression of being able to balance being fearless and down-to-earth in an ideal way: 

–          I have always felt confident that I could take on the challenges I meet, and in some contexts, I’ve probably exercised a somewhat unconventional mind-set. 

As an example, Rune highlights a choice he made early on in his career; leaving his position as a manager in the securities division of leading Norwegian bank DNC (today’s DNB) to work in a small, partner-owned brokerage firm. This led to six enjoyable years at N.A. Jensen & Co; a solid start to his long-lasting career within the finance industry.

What made you stay in the finance industry for all these years? 

–          It’s a competitive industry to be in, a sector that rightly faces pressure on prices that requires efficient systems. Price pressures usually lead to larger units, and they need to have a rational operational setup, says Rune Selmar. 

Motivated for further growth and new learning 

Colleagues describe Rune as a very hands-on leader who dives deep into issues. A manager who is professionally strong at identifying and managing risk as well as selecting the right customers, customers who will potentially amplify the growth Permian Fund Services AS is currently experiencing. 

Rune himself expresses great gratitude towards Permian that now wants him onboard, and it is with a glowing commitment that he describes his motivation to share his experiences. 

–          Few things excite me more than organizations that properly manages to lift its employees. The challenge will then be to retain talent within the organisation for as long as possible. I will contribute with my experience to create further growth, hopefully for several years to come. 

In his role at Permian, Rune will work closely with other companies within the Permian Group, including fund management, business conduct, risk management and compliance services. The Fund management part of the business also covers so-called family offices; wealthy families that run their personal economy as a fund or investment company.  

In the future, Rune believes it may be more critical for fund companies with common platforms; today, many funds handle all fund functions through their own back office. It is important to note that fund operations are a complex matter, and it will not be a sustainable solution in the long term for fund companies to do everything themselves. 

At the same time, Rune is looking forward to new learning. Even though he has been in the industry of fund trading and investments since 1986, there are still a lot of new lessons to be learned. 

–          I will now be able to thoroughly get down to the nitty-gritty of alternative investment funds and learn more about all the new exciting IT-solutions, says Rune with a big smile on his face. 

A natural numerate

Ever since choosing the trade line as a field of study at upper secondary school in Kristiansand, Rune has been a faithful servant to numbers. It became a natural choice for me to go to Bergen and the Norwegian School of Management to become a graduate in economics with a specialization in accounting and finance.

At the end of his studies, Rune was left with two job offers: One from Hydro (Norsk Hydro) and one from DnC (Den norske creditbank). He chose DnC, and as he says himself, working in a bank was a natural choice for any economist at the time.  

Back to the roots 

Rune Selmar is originally from Søgne but grew up in Kristiansand from the age of seven. And should there be any doubt: 

–          Summers are always spent in the Southern parts of Norway, and often in a rowing boat. I am probably amongst those in Norway who spend most hours a year in a rowing boat, practically all year round, concludes Selmar. 

More surprisingly, a man who has had several essential roles in the centre of Oslo has never actually resided in the capital. As an avid advocate for public transportation, Rune commutes daily, preferably by train. 

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