Nicolai Tangen grew up at Gimlekollen in Kristiansand. After his military service, where he learnt Russian at the Norwegian Armed Forces’ School of Intelligence and Security, he studied business and economics at NHH Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen, followed by studies at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Tangen then moved to London, where he joined the brokering house Cazanove as an analyst. In 2005 he established the hedge fund AKO Capital, named after his children’s initials. In 2020, Tangen was appointed CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management.
In London Nicolai Tangen’s interest in art became a passion. From 2003 to 2005, he did an MA in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art at University of London, focusing on three print series by the German-Norwegian artist Rolf Nesch.
Tangen’s art collection began with a picture by Norwegian modernist Johannes “Johs” Rian. Over the years Tangen has built up the largest collection of Nordic modernism from the period 1930-1980. The Tangen Collection was transferred to the AKO Foundation in 2016. That same year, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum signed an agreement on perpetual right of disposal over the collection, which takes effect when the museum moves into Kunstsilo.