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Ocean Insights with Jan Ole Huseby

Welcome to the Ocean Insights series – bite-sized interviews with the thought leaders, innovators and business people seeking to realise the huge potential of the ocean space.

This week we’ve spoken to Jan Ole Huseby, Head of Ocean Industries at DNB.

DNB is Norway’s largest financial group and a world leading financial services provider for the maritime and ocean business sectors. The Ocean Industries division is headquartered in Oslo and employs around 140 professionals with intimate knowledge of the Oil & Gas, Oilfield Services, Shipping, Offshore, and Seafood segments.

DNB prides itself on its industry understanding and excellent client relationships, working as partners with customers to enable optimal use of capital and support long-term business ambitions. The Ocean Industries division works closely with sister business units to enhance cross-industry opportunity and unlock added value.

Jan Ole Huseby took over the role at the helm of the division in April last year. Here he discusses the delicate nature of the supply-demand balance, unique cluster competence, diversity, and the importance of meeting face-to-face.

Dive in and see what you discover.

What do you see as the greatest opportunity for the ocean industries over the next decade?

The ocean space holds the keys to the future. Increasing demand for nutrition and energy creates obvious business opportunity, but that must be satisfied with responsible development that supports, rather than risks, climate and environmental goals. The sea is the solution.
By looking to the ocean we can develop and source low carbon foodstuffs – through, for example, increased aquaculture development – while enabling society’s transition to renewable energy, such as wind power. There is appetite, ambition and opportunity for ocean development, and at DNB we want to support that and realise business potential for our clients, and wider society.

What do you regard as the greatest challenge?

From a business perspective, it’s probably getting the optimal supply-demand balance in sectors such as the offshore and shipping industries. The opportunities are clear, but how do we manage and adapt existing and future assets, infrastructure and expertise to best cater for them? There will inevitably be some pain along the road to achieving that balance.
Similarly, we’ve yet to see the “big solution” in shipping, specifically with regard to fuels. How do you make an investment for an asset with a projected lifecycle of 25 years when the rate of change in the world, and technology, is accelerating faster than ever? That is a huge challenge, but it also creates enormous opportunity for finding the right solutions.

What do you see as the unique strength of your business and how will it help you succeed?

We are an international bank with a strong Norwegian heritage. Norway has sculpted its identity, and success, through its ability to seize opportunities within the ocean arena, from trade, to shipping, seafood, oil and gas, and now renewables. We have built a cluster that has world leading competence and technology across the ocean business spectrum, and DNB has been there every step of the way – supporting and enabling ambitions. That has given us an expertise and product offering uniquely tailored to this sector… and one that all of our international customers can benefit from.

HRH Crown Prince Haakon visited the DNB stand at Nor-Shipping 2019.
What key skills are you looking for in the next generation of industry professionals and how are you working to attract new talent?

We are always on the lookout for curious, open-minded, dynamic people and recruit in a wide variety of ways, through many different platforms, to target the right individuals. Apart from seeking the inquisitive and engaged, we’re also looking to build a diverse workforce, with diverse perspectives, helping us identify opportunities while contributing towards a truly inclusive, welcoming and successful work environment.

What are you most looking forward to at the next Nor-Shipping?

That’s easy! People! After the difficult time we’ve all experienced over the past year, it’ll be more important than ever to re-engage on a face-to-face basis with the truly unique audience that gathers at Nor-Shipping.
This is an opportunity to, finally, bring the entire international ocean industries cluster together once again. That is hugely important for relationships, community, and accessing all the latest innovations and ideas that can help take the industry forward into the future. In that respect it’ll arguably be the most important Nor-Shipping so far.

What three words sum up your vision for the future?

Optimism, opportunity, ambition

Nor-Shipping 2022 – Your Arena for Ocean Solutions – takes place in Oslo and Lillestrøm, 10-13 January 2022. Make sure you’re part of the #ACTION. Sign up NOW for our newsletter!

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