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Nordic roundup: Government Pension Fund Global, KPA Pension, Pensionsmyndigheten

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  • Nordic roundup: Government Pension Fund Global, KPA Pension, Pensionsmyndigheten

EUROPE - The Norwegian Ministry of Finance is tendering for three consultants to advise on both the Norway Government Pension Fund Global (NPFG) and the Government Pension Fund Norway, the country's national insurance fund.

The four year contracts would see candidates advise the ministry on aspects such as general investment strategy, as well as guidelines for responsible investment.

Additionally, input is also being sought for performance and risk evaluation, with advice needed for the development of the scheme's management framework.

While the NOK2.9trn (€365bn) NPFG's assets are managed by Norges Bank, the fund is monitored by the ministry, with decisions such as which assets the fund should be exposed to made by the government.

In May last year, changes were made to the scheme's investment strategy to allow real estate investments, of which the first was announced in November.

Meanwhile, KPA Pension has been found guilty of publishing misleading advertising by the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman.

The conviction concerns two adverts where two inactive investors are branded a peace activist and an environmentalist respectively.

The complaint alleged that KPA's advert implied by not investing in certain companies and activities, investors were able to put a stop to a firm's action.

KPA Pension argued in its response that not investing in a company is an efficient way of influencing a firm's operations. KPA is a high-profile ethical and environmental investor and also uses its ownership actively by trying to influence firms.

The Advertising Ombudsman did not accept KPA's argument and said the provider had not demonstrated that its actions actively stop the production of new weapons or the devastation of rainforests, therefore ruling that the advertisements were unreliable and misleading.

KPA Pension has said it will abide by the verdict from the Ombudsman. KPA is also looking to have a dialogue with the ombudsman clarifying what it can and cannot say about its ethical investments in its marketing material.

Finally, the Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate, a government agency providing an independent supervisory function for the country's social insurance administration, has conducted its first evaluation of Pensionsmyndigheten's operations.

Pensionsmyndigheten, the Swedish Pensions Agency launched a year ago, has two main goals which are to increase information and reduce costs within the country's premium based system.

Because of the short time in existence the inspectorate said a proper evaluation is difficult but is in general satisfied with the agency. In particular the inspectorate commends the information aspect of the agency's activities.

The challenges ahead for the agency is the continuation of streamlining the operational aspects of the two earlier agencies which were merged into Pensionsmyndigheten, as well as customer services.

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