Historical archive

Conferences on responsible investment practice in the Government Pension Fund Global

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance has asked the Strategy Council for the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) to write a report on the strategy for responsible investment. The report will be presented autumn 2013. The Strategy Council has recently organised two conferences on responsible investments as part of this work. Two new publications summarises the dialogue with experts and stakeholders at these conferences.

The Ministry of Finance has asked the Strategy Council for the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) to write a report on the strategy for responsible investment. The report will be presented autumn 2013. The Strategy Council has recently organised two conferences on responsible investments as part of this work. Two new publications summarises the dialogue with experts and stakeholders at these conferences.

The US$ 760 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) is now one of the largest Funds in the world. The Norwegian Ministry of Finance earlier this year asked the Fund's Strategy Council to review its approach to responsible investment.

Mr Sigbjørn Johnsen, the Norwegian Minister of Finance, said:

    "Independent, academic discussions are very useful in our work to develop the management of the GPFG. It helps us contribute transparency and debate to important decision making, and supports us in our goal of wanting an open process concerning the work of the Strategy Council towards their report on GPFG's strategy for responsible investments."

As part of this initiative, the Strategy Council organised two open meetings. Summaries of the discussions at these gatherings have just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Investment Management.

 

Two meetings

The objective of the Strategy Council was to bring together experts to discuss the purposes and strategies for responsible investment, and to develop a framework connecting the investment decisions of larger asset owners with economic, social and governance issues. The two events – one held at Cambridge Judge Business School, the other at BI Norwegian Business School – were conducted with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance.

Professor Elroy Dimson, Chairman of the Strategy Council, said:

    "We were joined by many experts on responsible investing. The aim was to deepen the Council's awareness of current research and experience, and to provide an opportunity to hear and discuss perspectives on investor responsibility. This dialogue has underpinned our work on the Fund's strategy for responsible investments."

The first meeting was the Responsible Investing Summit, organised by the Centre for Endowment Asset Management at Cambridge Judge Business School on 31 May 2013. The Summit at Cambridge University brought together leading academics from around the world, along with asset owners and managers and other international experts. Their mission was to debate the purposes and outcomes of responsible investing strategies.

The second meeting was the Responsible Investment Conference, held at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo on 20 June 2013. The Conference provided a platform for NGOs and other stakeholders to provide inputs and discuss priorities for responsible investing. There were lively exchanges of views with stakeholders on the environmental, social, and governance priorities for the Fund.

The Ministry of Finance's State Secretary, Ms Hilde Singsaas, summed up the process succinctly:

    "The purpose of the Summit and the Conference was a simple but important one – to learn more. These events were highly informative, not only for the Strategy Council, but for the entire audience."

 

Two new articles

The two articles, summarising the meetings, have been accepted for publication early next year in the Journal of Investment Management.

The Summit in Cambridge, which emphasised academic evidence on responsible investing, is reviewed by Mitch Towner of the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas, USA. His forthcoming article may be downloaded now from www.ssrn.com/id=2288926.

The Conference in Oslo, which addressed the concerns of stakeholders and their proposals, is reviewed by Sarah Takaki of the Judge Business School, Cambridge University, England. Her forthcoming article may be downloaded now from www.ssrn.com/id=2306362.

These two articles provide valuable input to the deliberations of the Strategy Council. Members of the Council are Professor Elroy Dimson of London Business School and Cambridge Judge Business School; Mr Idar Kreutzer, Chief Executive Officer of Finance Norway; Mr Rob Lake, formerly Director of Responsible Investment at Principles for Responsible Investments (PRI); Ms Hege Sjo, senior advisor to Hermes Investment Management; and Professor Laura Starks of the University of Texas.


Links

Opening speeches by State Secretary Hilde Singsaas at the meetings in Cambridge and in Oslo: www.regjeringen.no/en/the-government-pension-fund-global.html?id=728743 and www.regjeringen.no/en/opening-speech-at-the-responsible-invest.html?id=731193

Mandate and membership of the Strategy Council: www.regjeringen.no/en/strategy-council-to-look-at-responsible-.html?id=712024

The Centre for Endowment Asset Management at Judge Business School: www.CEAM.jbs.cam.ac.uk

The Journal of Investment Management: www.joim.com


Contact

Senior Advisor Eva Rabben, Communication Unit, Ministry of Finance, Telephone +47 22 24 44 11/+47 911 42 059