From the suburbs to the C-suite
Morten Borge has been determined to succeed since he was a boy in the suburbs of eastern Oslo. That determination has led him to his position as CEO of Ferd Capital, responsible for billions of kroner in investments.
Ferd is a holding company that manages the assets of Johan H. Andresen, an industrial and financial magnate. Before he was CEO, Morten was the company’s Chief Investment Officer, responsible for investments in energy, oil services and the maritime industry.
“We invest in both private companies, public companies, and acquire companies through the stock market. When we do make an investment, we typically invest hundreds of millions or several billion. Naturally, that means a lot of analysis and effort is behind every investment,” Morten said.
It also allows Ferd to work with social entrepreneurship, where companies invest in new business and organisations that want to tackle social issues. Morten says this is a particularly rewarding part of his job.
Shaped by his background
Morten grew up on the east side of Oslo, an area with statistically lower socioeconomic status, in a small coop apartment with his single mother. From an early age he held part-time jobs along with school and studies, and he says this helped develop his ability to work hard and a healthy competitiveness.
“The academic value you gain from this type of work is limited, but you learn how sales works in practice. Either as head of the fruit section of a grocery store or as a gas station attendant … I think the main thing you learn is to work hard and don’t give up.”
At BI he was accepted to the Master of Science in Business programme, and later also graduated with a Master in Accounting and Auditing. This gave him a strong academic base that enabled him to confidently make decisions later in life, he says.
“BI is particularly great at preparing you for and giving you an understanding of real situations, where you can apply the theory you learn in class.”
Just a few years after graduating he landed the job as Chief Investment Officer, and was selected as the Management Talent of the Year by E24, a Norwegian business publication. The key to success, he says, has been to focus on achieving great results, constantly learning and developing along the way.
“I feel very lucky to do what I do in Ferd. At the crossroads between finance, economics, strategy and leadership. I’m responsible for massive investments. It’s a dream, really. That I’m able to work with what I do now, in a company like Ferd, and with so many talented people around me. It’s a dream come true.