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Thor Björgólfsson

Chairman and Founder

Thor began investing in frontier markets in Russia in 1991, founding a bottling company that grew into the Bravo brewing group, subsequently sold to Heineken in 2002.

Following that transaction Thor founded Novator in 2004, diversifying into telecoms and pharmaceuticals, building a portfolio of business investments that led to Forbes magazine naming him as Iceland’s first billionaire in a 2007 cover story. The fallout of the global financial crisis of 2008 resulted in personal guarantee debts of €350m. Refusing to go bankrupt, Thor rebuilt his portfolio and paid off the debt by 2014. He has been described as an ‘adventure capitalist’ because of his unusual tolerance for risk.

Today, through Novator, Thor continues to be an active investor in the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe as well as Latin America and his native country, Iceland. He also personally invests in cutting-edge sustainability focused initiatives including Princeville Capital, a fund for growth-stage tech companies focused on positively impacting climate change and David de Rothschild’s eco-driven lifestyle brand, The Lost Explorer.

Thor is a finance graduate from the Stern School of Business at New York University and was honoured in the World Economic Forum’s first Young Global Leader cohort in 2005. In 2014 he co-wrote a book with financial journalist Andrew Cave called ‘Billions to Bust and Back’ which was published by Profile Books. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events including delivering the opening keynote at WIRED’s London event in 2016 and a think tank event in Reykjavik that same year titled, Social progress, What works?

More information about Thor’s career history and interests is available on his personal website.