Fred Olsen

One of the founders of the Chamber of Commerce

Fred Olsen was a key player in shipping and shipping operations in a period when one of Norway's most important industries experienced radical changes. Using new technology, he chose a different strategy than the usual one at the time and built up one of Norway's dominant shipping lines. 1885 he took over as the owner of two of his father's sailing ships. Upon his death in 1933 the company counted 65 ships, and it had bought or built 150. He was one of the founders of the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce.

Olsen was a skilled businessman. At the same time, he had an exceptional relationship with his workers. During the First World War he paid the seamen 200 kroner extra per trip as a risk supplement. 1918 he gave Aker-workers a gift of 12% gratuity and a sack of potatoes. The following year, Aftenposten wrote that shipowner Olsen had donated his share dividend for the year to the workshop's workers and left the trade union responsible for the distribution.

Olsen was appointed Knight of the 1st Class of the Order of St. Olav in 1911 and commander of the 1st grade in 1931 and he was knighted by the French Legion of Honour.

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