A new expert committee chaired by Norwegian professor Ulf Sverdrup has been appointed by the country’s Finance Ministry with the task of considering “long-term perspectives” for the NOK12.1trn (€1.2trn) sovereign wealth fund – including assessing whether Norges Bank should keep managing the fund.
The ministry said in a statement: “International developments and developments in global financial markets may be of importance for understanding risk in the management of the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).
“Today, a public committee has been appointed to review which developments may be of relevance in the years to come and possible implications for the management of the fund,” it said.
Sverdrup, who is director of Norwegian Institute of International Affairs as well as professor at BI Norwegian Business School, will head the commission, whose members include the former chief executive officer of Folketrygdfondet Olaug Svarva, Norwegian School of Economics professor Karin Thorburn, and Olav Chen, head of allocation and global fixed income at Storebrand.
Noting that the GPFG celebrated its 25th anniversary in May, Finance Ministry Jan Tore Sanner said: “The environment in which the GPFG operates may however become more demanding in the next 25 years than in the 25 years we have put behind us.”
Norway needed to consider how to manage both what could not be controlled – global changes – and how to manage what it could do something about, he said – ie. strategy and governance.
“The committee shall not only examine the outside world, but also assess what it means for the GPFG,” Sanner said.
The two parts of the assignment are firstly, which future developments may be relevant to the GPFG in the coming years, and secondly, what significance such developments may entail for the management.
As part of the latter, the government said in the mandate: “The committee shall further discuss whether the current model where the fund management organisation remains within Norges Bank would be the most suitable also going forwards or whether new challenges suggest a different model.”
The committee, which has until 1 October 2022 to submit its report, is not to propose specific changes to the GPFG’s investment strategy or tackle the subject of the fiscal policy guidelines, according to the Finance Ministry.