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Chief exec of Norges Bank Investment Management to resign

Yngve Slyngstad

Yngve Slyngstad (pictured) has decided to step down as chief executive of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) after a tenure of 12 years.

The 56-year-old will continue to serve in his position until a successor has been found and remain with the investment management company afterwards in an unspecified role.

Commenting on his departure, Øystein Olsen, chair of the executive board at NBIM, said: “Yngve Slyngstad has been a distinct leader of NBIM and developed a leading and global investment organisation.”

During Slyngstad’s time in charge, the Government Pension Fund Global (the fund) of Norway has become more active as a shareholder.

In NBIM’s recently published strategy document for 2020-2022, it announced that it will continue to strive to be a constructive owner.

Voting intentions

As an example, it has changed the manner in how it votes.

“Since 2013, we have published our voting instructions one day after the shareholder meeting, and we have, in some cases, announced ahead of the meeting how we intend to vote.”

This can influence how other shareholders cast their ballots.

“By the end of the strategy period, we aim to publish all our voting instructions ahead of shareholder meetings where this is practicable,” it writes.

In 2015, NBIM announced that it would support a shareholder resolution on climate reporting by BP and Shell. In 2016, it declared support for four shareholder proposals related to climate change policies and strategy by Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

The fund, which invests in over 9,000 companies, seeks to improve the long-term financial performance of its investments and reduce financial risks by considering environmental, social and governance issues, the strategy document says.

After a new chief executive has taken up the position, Slyngstad will continue developing the fund’s investment strategy.

Unlisted renewable energy infrastructure

His responsibilities will include building up unlisted renewable energy infrastructure as an investment area, to improve the overall risk-return characteristics of the fund.

It has identified this area as complementary to equities and fixed income in its strategy.

“We will focus on Europe and North America given their tested regulatory frameworks and experience with private funding of infrastructure assets. We will focus on projects with low power price risk, stable cash flows and limited risk to the principal investment,” the document states.

Olsen said: “Over these 12 years [under Slyngstad’s leadership], the fund has delivered very good results and the fund has achieved a strong position internationally and in Norway”.

Slyngstad commented on his departure: “It is an important milestone that the fund’s market value passed NOK10trn (€982bn) on 25 October.”

Elena Johansson

Senior Reporter

Part of the Bonhill Group.