Oil fund boosts active ownership

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Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund that’s fueled by oil revenues has taken another step towards what it calls its “active ownership” in publicly traded companies. Its latest step also addresses critics looking for more openness by fund managers.

The Financial Times (external link) reported last week that the fund’s decision to reveal in advance how it will vote on key issues at many companies is likely to also boost shareholder activism in Europe.

Thomas Sevang, communications director for the fund, told newspaper Aftenposten that revealing how it will vote ahead of a company’s annual meeting is aimed at “increasing transparency around its active ownership.”

Others called it an “exciting development” as the fund also gets more involved in decisions around nominations for company board members and other issues. As a huge pension fund with a lot of clout and ethical guidelines, the oil fund already is watched closely by institutional investors tracking where the Norwegian fund chooses to invest.

newsinenglish.no staff