As a general rule, I believe everything I read in the Financial Times, but the other day I saw something so improbable I thought it had to be a mistake. A story about Yngve Slyngstad, the head of the world's biggest sovereign wealth fund, said the 56-year-old Norwegian CEO had no secretary, arranged his own meetings and made his own travel bookings. Even by Scandinavian standards, this seemed outlandish. Slyngstad is no scrappy start-up boss. He is paid about $800,000 (R11m) a year to run Norway's $1-trillion oil fund, an investment juggernaut so huge it holds nearly 3,500 corporate meetings a year. Does he really e-mail other CEOs' PAs when he wants to set up a meeting? I called him and found that, thrillingly, he does. "I do that quite frequently, actually," he said, explaining that when he needs to see one of the CEOs he speaks to a lot he often deals with their assistants. "Some of them are a bit surprised," he said, especially when he phones back a PA who has just e-mailed to m...

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