Sovereign Wealth Giant & Activist Investor Focused on Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility

Primary tabs

Sovereign Wealth Giant & Activist Investor Focused on Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility

SustainabilityHQ Highlights (02.10.2016)
tweet me:
SustainabilityHQ Highlights (02.10.2016)
Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 11:35am

Many nations have created what can be defined as a “Sovereign Wealth Fund,” which hold assets in portfolio that are supposed to benefit the entire population, and usually, future generations of the country’s citizens. The first such fund was launched in 1954 by the oil-producing nation of Kuwait.  Today, the largest such “SWF” is that of Norway – officially, the Norway Government Pension Investment Fund – with “wealth” now approaching US$1 trillion in Assets Under Management.

The Fund, managed by Norges Bank, invests in literally thousands of public companies.  Consider:  The fund invests in 9,000 companies in 75 countries (1.3% of the world’s listed companies; 2.4% of Europe’s listed companies).  The funds come from Norway’s North Sea oil royalties.  

This is an activist investor:  Last year the SWF divested shares in 73 companies because of environmental and governance issues – the news comes from the Fund’s second annual sustainable investing report.  The Norway SWF is an activist investor, voting against 9,000 company-backed proxy resolutions (including votes at Apple, ExxonMobil, Sanofi, Anheuser-Bush InBev, Toyota, and General Electric).

As the Financial Times’ Nordic & Baltic reporter Richard Milne explains in his report, “The disclosures come as part of the oil fund’s second report on responsible investing…detailing its aspiration to use its growing weigh in financial markets to push companies towards good corporate behavior.” 

The G&A Institute team has been monitoring SWFs for almost 10 years, as the assets – and influence -- of this important sector of the institutional investment community grows and grows.  Not many SWFs could be characterized as sustainable & responsible investors, but the Norway fund example is at least favorably referenced by some other national funds when they describe their own “sustainable investing” activities.

This is just a sample of some of the articles from this weeks SustainabilityHQ Highlights. You can view the full Highlights by using the following links. Sustainability | ESG, Highlights for the Week of February 10, 2016

Keywords: Media & Communications | G&A Institute | GRI | Governance & Accountability Institute | SWF | Sovereign Wealth Funds | SustainabilityHQ | business & trade | environmental | esg | governance