Education to Entrepreneur: How Ragnar Horn Took Over the Investing Industry


The life and times of Ragnar Horn are as exciting as they are impressive. Born and raised in Norway, Horn would make a name for himself as a competitive cross-country skier. After pursuing the sport in his collegiate years, Horn would turn his attention to the world of investing and economics. Now the Chairman of Taconic AS, Ragnar Horn is looking to share a few slices of insight that have served him well throughout his career. As the entrepreneurial world of investing is always changing, it can help to have a guiding post for newcomers to the industry to follow. Let’s explore how Ragnar Horn went from an athlete in Norway to one of the most impressive real estate investors in the country.

Ragnar Horn first started his path toward excellence as an entrepreneur by attending college. Horn would attend Williams College in MA where he would secure his B.A. in Economics – with honors, an important distinction that underscores Ragnar’s work ethic. After landing his B.A. in Economics, Horn would go on to attend the prestigious Harvard Business School before securing his own Master of Business Administration. While education is not the only key to success, attaining high-level education in the right field can be a life-changing event.

Upon graduating from college, Ragnar Horn would begin exploring the world of investing. He would land several years of work in banking while living in New York City before returning to his home country for the Chairman role at Taconic AS. Taconic AS is an investment firm based in Norway that targets several specific sectors in the region. Tacoma AS has invested heavily in Norwegian real estate, private equity firms, telecom giants, and even shipping and offshore productions. Horn’s position allows him to lead the charge when it comes to finalizing transactions or approving mergers and acquisitions as well as his work with public debt and equity.

In order to find this high-level success, Ragnar says that he has had to rely on his competitive nature and drive to become the best. Horn looks to his time as a competitive athlete before underscoring the idea that leadership requires competitiveness in today’s profit-driven society. Horn says of his high work ethic that his drive keeps him focused on competing and cooperating with individuals as they present themselves. Along that same train of thought, Ragnar accepts that defeat and regression can actually further fuel his desire to succeed, claiming that failure is an endemic part of the human experience.

Even though Ragnar has enjoyed a successful career, it can be easy for others to fall into pitfalls along the way. Ragnar points out one of the most glaring causes of failure among CEOs and entrepreneurs is due to their own cognitive bias. Pointing to Jon Krakauer’s work with “Into Thin Air” about the deadly Mount Everest expedition of 1996, Ragnar underscores how important it is to understand your skills, advantages, and limitations. Only after properly assessing your preparation and backlog of skills can you make correct judgments going forward. CEOs that don’t acknowledge their limitations or lack of skills can end up getting in over their head, struggling in areas that they were not prepared for.

Finally, Ragnar Horn understands that it is important to present a calm and open mind when it comes time to discuss concepts, projects, or day-to-day activities. No matter who you are discussing concepts with, being willing to understand their perspective can be the best decision that you make. This can lead to profoundly positive results when making business decisions for your company like Ragnar Horn so successfully has done.

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