Norwegian oil fund tightens demands for companies

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global intends to take measures against boards that show too little initiative in regards to climate and diversity efforts or where CEO wages have surged disproportionally. 
Photo: Pr/norges Bank Investment Management
Photo: Pr/norges Bank Investment Management
by MARKETWIRE, translated by kristoffer grønbæk

CEO of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, or oil fund, Nicolai Tangen increases demands for companies.

The fund plans to raise demands for companies by voting against boards that show a lack of initiative in regards to climate and diversity efforts or where CEO wages have surged disproportionally, reports Danish business daily Børsen.

Norway’s oil fund manages a fortune of no less than DKK 9,100bn (USD 1,303bn) and owns an average of 1.5 percent of all publicly listed companies in the world, providing a certain influence even in the biggest companies.

The US is center of a growing opposition to investor demands. Tangen explains in an interview with Børsen that he is surprised about the resistance to investors taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into account. However, the fund only intends to tighten requirements for approx. 9,000 of the companies that the fund holds stakes in.

Climate, executive wages and board diversity are three of the fund’s focus areas and entail – besides increased requirements for climate efforts – a demand of at least two women on boards of directors, and that CEO wages do not reach excessive levels.

”Climate is not political. It simply a matter of protecting your investment as an investor. That a world not suited to live in is bad for yield levels is obvious,” states Tangen to Børsen.

Opposition to ESG considerations are not prevalent in Europe yet, but the oil fund executive believes it will come and therefore requires that investors hold firm and represent a strong voice.

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