The fund was established in 1990, and the initial transfer from the government followed in 1996. Today, the fund is among the largest in the world and the single largest investor in listed companies. How did the fund develop from a theoretical economic concept to a trillion-dollar reality? In this publication, we tell the story of the fund and its investment strategy from our perspective.
In 20 years, the fund has grown to become the largest single owner in the world’s stock markets. At a virtual event 28 August, CEO, Yngve Slyngstad, Chief Governance Officer, Carine Smith Ihenacho, and Head of Governance, Jonas Jølle, took us through our experience as an investor in 9,000 companies, and discussed how we went from a small, reluctant owner to a large, active owner. They also took a virtual travel to meet Professor Alex Edmans at the London Business School and Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP. They talked about the role of large investors, responsible business conduct and the development of international standards.
How we exercise our rights and manage our responsibilities as an owner has evolved rapidly over the past 20 years. In this publication, we share our experience as an investor in over 9,000 companies. The fund started out as a reluctant owner. Today, we vote at more than 11,000 shareholder meetings and have nearly 3,500 meetings with companies every year. We publish expectations of companies that make clear our priorities as a long-term owner. We contribute actively to the development of international standards on responsible business conduct.
We have published expectations of how companies in our portfolio should address global challenges in their operations since 2008. These expectations largely coincide with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Our voting guidelines provide a principled basis for our voting decisions. We also publish position papers which set out our views on specific topics and serve as a starting point for discussion with companies and standard setters. With some issues that we consider particularly important, we may publish our voting intentions ahead of a company’s shareholder meeting.
Our analyses are informed by our research and experience as a large, long-term investment manager. The Discussion Note series provides a basis for our investment strategy and advice to the fund’s owner. The Asset Manager Perspective series presents our views on topics relevant to the financial sector. The perspectives are not intended to be definitive but to provide useful input for all market participants.
The Government Pension Fund Global is a large, global investment fund with a long-term investment horizon. Our management of the fund shall safeguard and build financial wealth for future generations.