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Johan Andresen steps down as CEO of family business Ferd

Johan Andresen, who in 1998 succeeded his father at the helm of the Norwegian Tiedemanns Group and went on to transform the family business into an industrial and financial conglomerate, has stepped down as the company’s chief executive.
Johan Andresen steps down as CEO of family business Ferd

Johan Andresen, who in 1998 succeeded his father at the helm of the Norwegian Tiedemanns Group and went on to transform the family business into an industrial and financial conglomerate, has stepped down as the company’s chief executive.

Andresen (pictured), the fifth generation of his family to head the group that in 2001 changed its name to Ferd, will now chair the company's board. But he seems to have no intention of reducing his involvement in the family business.

“I will become a very active owner,” he said in a statement on 1 October.

“By being able to spend less time in internal meetings, administration and other office functions, I can ... focus more on contributing to create business opportunities, advance external relations and develop Ferd’s own understanding of what we are and what we can become,” he added.

He also said he wanted to spend more time making his children, who are aged 16 and 17, “more aware” of the opportunities and responsibilities they will have at Ferd.

But Andresen’s appointment wasn’t the only change taking place at the Lysaker-based group, which traces its roots to a small tobacco firm bought by Andresen’s great-great-grandfather Johan Henrik in 1849. John Giverholt, who served as the company’s chief financial officer for the past 12 years, was named chief executive.

“I am pleased that it was possible to recruit the chief executive ... from within the company,” Andersen said in the statement, adding that this kind of appointment is “a considerable strength” for a family-owned company.

Ferd, which had revenues of NOK9.2 billion (€1.2 billion) in 2011, also reorganised its corporate structure, setting up six divisions focusing on the group’s different interests.

Ferd Capital will act as the private equity arm of the group, mostly investing in northern European companies. Ferd already has interests in businesses such as packaging firm Elopak and sport accessories manufacturer Swix Sport.

Other divisions will include Ferd Invest, focusing on the Nordic stock markets, and Ferd Special Investments and Ferd Hedge Fund, which will deal with the group’s alternative investments. 

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