Petter A. Stordalen, Home Invest, Nordic Choice Hotels, Home Properties, Home Capital

Petter A. Stordalen

Pursuing a
New Capitalism

Editors’ Note

At 29, Petter Stordalen, with a group of investors, formed what would become Steen & Strøm Invest, Norway’s largest holder of commercial real estate. After leaving Steen & Strøm Invest, Stordalen struck out on his own, teaming up with another investor. At age 37, Stordalen became a billionaire. In 2012, he opened his biggest hotel to date, the Clarion Post Hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2000, Stordalen formed the company Home Invest, consisting of the properties previously owned by Choice Hotels Scandinavia. Home Invest invests through three separate entities: Nordic Choice Hotels, Scandinavia’s largest hotel chain with more than 170 hotels in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Baltics; Home Properties, which owns 25 properties including 20 hotels in Sweden in addition to four hotels and one office building in Norway; and Home Capital, which invests in stocks, bonds, and derivatives. Through Home Properties, Stordalen owns 50 percent of PASAB, a joint venture with Norwegian property developers, Anders and Arthur Buchardt, developing properties in Norway and Sweden.

In January 2013, Stordalen opened a new luxury hotel called The Thief (thethief.com), in the Tjuvholmen neighborhood in Oslo, which has gained international attention for its unique take on art and service, and frequent celebrity guests.

Organization Brief

The Stordalen Foundation (stordalenfoundation.no), initiated by the couple Gunhild (a medical doctor and international environmentalist) and Petter A. Stordalen, supports work aimed at solving health, environmental, and climate challenges in Norway and abroad. The foundation makes financial contributions and provides expertise, either directly or indirectly, through the Corporate Responsibility platform in Home Invest and its subsidiaries.

How did you achieve so much at such a young age?

All the companies I have been working in have been successful due to the people: Hire the right people; hire people better than yourself; hire people who are enthusiastic and have a lot of energy, and want to do something different.

You have strong opinions on capitalism today. Can you elaborate on those views?

I want to change the capitalism we see today so, for the long term, we focus on environmental responsibility and social responsibility. Companies of the future need to have a philosophy based on a triple-bottom-line. You need to earn your money and create jobs, but you also need to focus on environmental responsibility and social responsibility.

How do you make this happen?

I have to start with myself, by doing the right things, by saying that I pay my taxes. You can discuss it with the government, you can try to change the system or reduce them, do tax planning, that is okay, but never move out. Because if everybody does that, it will destroy everything I believe in.

The tax is the cost of a civilization for me. It finances all of the things that are important for a society: schools, roads, pensions, securities. Also, these are things we need in order to be successful in business.

You’re a philosopher too.

I aim for a more sustainable form of capitalism. One day, my daughter will ask me, what did you do to make a difference? And I want to have a good answer.

I cannot change the world alone, but I can start with my company.•