NORWAY - The Ministry of Finance has appointed an international group of specialists to evaluate the active management of Norges Bank in relation to the Government Pension Fund - Global as part of an external review into the continuation of active management strategies.

The specialist group comprises of three Professors of Finance: Professor Andrew Ang, from Columbia Business School, Professor William N Goetzmann of Yale School of Management and Professor Stephen Schaefer from the London Business School.

In its Report to Storting no.20 (2008-2009) on the management of the NOK 2.47trn (€286bn) Government Pension Fund - Global, the ministry announced the evolution of the scheme's investment strategy would include an external review of the future of active management.

The group will be expected to produce a report of their findings to the Ministry of Finance by December, ahead of a seminar in January 2010 where selected "national and international experts" will be asked to comment on the findings.

Alongside the specialist panel, the government has also commissioned Mercer to write a report on the use of active management and active ownership efforts in other large funds around the world, following a tender process initiated in July. (See earlier IPE article: Norway prepares review of active management)

Meanwhile Norges Bank has been requested by the ministry to prepare "a more detailed plan for active management with descriptions of the main strategies for achieving excess returns", which will also feed into the review.

The results of the three strands of the review will be made public by the end of the year, and following the seminar in January 2010, the ministry revealed it will present the Norwegian Parliament, Storting, with "an assessment of whether or to what extent active management of the Government Pension Fund - Global ought to be continued in the spring".

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