Could Norway’s Sovereign Fund be a Vanguard for Corporate Governance

Yngve Slyngstad

Yngve Slyngstad

Endowed with immense oil wealth, Norway’s gigantic sovereign wealth fund is a major owner of public stocks. Being a prominent owner of European equities, the sovereign fund has gradually increased their clout in corporate governance. In the second quarter of 2013, the sovereign fund voted in 6,078 general meetings as well as 239 shareholder proposals on environmental and social issues. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) has the potential to greatly influence the corporate governance market in Europe – possibly China as well. China is an investment market in which the GPFG wants to allocate more to.

As asset owners grow, the expectation in participating in active corporate governance increase.

Active ownership has been championed by many massively-sized public investors such as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Public funds continue to rally for changes such as separating chairman and chief executive officer roles. In May, CalPERS tried to corral fellow institutional investors in JPMorgan Chase & Co. to split Jamie Dimon’s dual role. It was unsuccessful. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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