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Hermes veteran joins Norwegian oil fund's new governance board

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  • Hermes veteran joins Norwegian oil fund's new governance board

NORWAY – The launch of a new governance advisory board will allow Norway's Pension Fund Global to better "safeguard" the increasing value of the NOK4.4trn (€577bn) fund, its chief executive has said.

The three-man Corporate Governance Advisory Board will consist of investment veterans well-known to the UK industry, including the former Hermes Pension Management chief executive Tony Watson.

The move comes after the oil fund decided  to adopt a more active approach and establish closer ties with the companies in which it owns large stakes, which has already led to Norges Bank Investment Management head Yngve Slyngstad joining the nominating committee for Sweden's car manufacturer Volvo.

Discussing the decision to set up the Corporate Governance Advisory Board, announced as it published details of its second quarter that saw it return 0.1%, the fund said it aimed to contribute to "high standards of social and environmental performance" in the companies it owned.

Slyngstad added: "Our ownership strategies will support the management of the fund and safeguard the growing value for future generations."

A spokesman at NBIM confirmed that the board would consist of UK academic John Kay, who recently authored a report for the UK government on long-term sustainable investing in equities, as well as Peter Montagnon and Watson.

Montagnon, a former journalist, spent a decade at the Association of British Insurers before joining the Financial Reporting Council, the regulator responsible for the UK Stewardship Code, in 2010.

Watson, meanwhile, is a former chief executive of Hermes and holds a number of independent director positions at companies including Hammerson and Witan Investment Trust.

The spokesman told IPE that the board would meet at least four times a year, but that NBIM reserved the right to call additional meetings if necessary.

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