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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Norway’s highest-paid executive

Øyvind Eriksen, who took over as chief executive of Kjell Inge Røkke’s industrial firm Aker ASA two years ago, reportedly has also taken over as Norway’s most highly paid business leader as well. Norwegian business daily Dagens Næringsliv (DN) pegs his annual compensation at well over NOK 20 million (about USD 3 million).

Øyvind Eriksen (left) with Aker boss Kjell Inge Røkke (center) and former Aker CEO Leif-Arne Langøy. PHOTO: Aker ASA

That’s high by Norwegian standards, where business executives don’t earn as much as the stunning salaries offered in the US, for example. Røkke recruited Eriksen, his long-time lawyer, when Leif-Arne Langøy stepped down in 2008. Eriksen was offered an annual salary of NOK 12 million plus a bonus of up to two-thirds of his annual salary, or NOK 8 million last year.

Røkke said at the time that Eriksen had been “one of mine and Aker’s most important advisers for several years. He knows the company, our markets and key colleagues very well, and he has been a key player in the large projects we have executed.”

Eriksen also received a sign-on fee of NOK 12 million, but the most potentially lucrative portion of his pay comes from dividends he stands to receive from Røkke’s private investment firm TRG Holding.

Røkke said it was “important to my wife Anne Grete and to me that Øyvind Eriksen becomes a co-owner in our company TRG Holding AS.” Eriksen paid NOK 12.6 million for 50,000 B-shares (a 0.1 percent stake) in the company that is Aker’s main shareholder. He was also given an option to acquire another 50,000 B-shares.

All told, DN calculates that Eriksen has earned around NOK 35 million in the past 18 months. He said himself that joining Aker marked “the start of a new era for me,” and that he was happy to be able to invest “my own money on Aker’s future success.”

Aker spokesman Atle Kigen noted that Eriksen has paid NOK 25.7 million to become an investor in TRG Holding, and that no dividends were paid in 2008. The goal, though is to pay out 2 to 4 percent of Aker’s value-adjusted capital, which in 2009 was set at NOK 19.5 billion.

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