Seafood analyst leaves banking to start land-based salmon farm in Belgium

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Nordea Markets’ Kolbjørn Giskeødegård leaves Nordea Markets to set up EUR 151 million project.

Last August, the experienced Nordea analyst Kolbjørn Giskeødegård announced that he off to pastures new. Though Giskeødegård would not say where he would go after he left the bank.

It is now known that Giskeødegård will be CFO of Columbi Salmon, a land-based salmon farm. With EUR 28 million in funding, of which EUR 19 million from small salmon farmer Refsnes Laks, the company wants to build the site just outside Ostend in Belgium, reports Dagens Næringsliv.

“I am in a phase in life where one likes to have a window for change. If I hadn’t been confident in co-founders and the concept, I would hardly have taken this leap,” Giskeødegård told the newspaper.

With him on the team, Giskeødegård will have a colleague from Nordea Markets, Anders Hagen, who takes the job as CEO of the company.

“The fact that we are now landing is a natural extension of what we are doing today. I believe that in the future one produces salmon in four ways; the traditional sea cage method in fjords, in closed containment in the sea, in more exposed localities and on land. When producing on land, you have to do it close to the market,” said salmon farmer Ivar Refsnes, who is stepping in as chairman of Columbi Salmon.

The plant that the company will build has an estimated construction cost of EUR 151 million. The production capacity is 12,000 tonnes of salmon annually.