Norway's oil fund to turn active: FT
Norway’s $760bn oil fund is gearing up to turn active and use its investment might to oust poor managers and influence strategy in companies where it has a shareholding, the Financial Times has reported.
The fund, which has quadrupled its size over the past eight years, has appointed three corporate governance experts to its board to spearhead the new drive.
“It will be a sounding board for both long-term ownership matters as well as specific issues,” Yngve Slyngstad, the oil fund’s chief executive, told the paper. “The important thing for us is that we wanted to have sometimes people with a broader, longer, more in-depth experience to complement what we have in the organisation.”
The new executives are: Peter Montagnon, formerly of the Association of British Insurers; John Kay, a Financial Times columnist and expert on long-term decision-making in equity markets; and Tony Watson, former chief executive of Hermes, a British investment fund, and a director at Vodafone, Lloyds Banking Group and Hammerson.
The oil fund is now the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, owning an average of 2.5 per cent of every listed European company and frequently in the top 20 of shareholders.
"As you get to be a larger owner, the expectations on shareholders increase, and the good thing about the Norwegians is that they are ready to rise to that challenge,” Mr Montagnon told the paper.