Norges Bank tackles excessive CEO pay

The world’s biggest public sovereign wealth fund revealed this week that it is planning for the first time to target overpaid executives at companies in which it holds investments.

Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of the €760 billion fund, said in an interview with the Financial Times that it had so far focused on pay structures rather than pay levels. “We think, due to the way the issue of executive remuneration has developed, that we will have to look at what an appropriate level of executive remuneration is as well”, he told the FT.

Norges Bank, fed by oil earnings through companies such as BP, owns an average 1.3% of every listed company on the planet, with stakes in more than 9,000 companies.

Going after fat pay checks is a significant step for the management industry that will become prominent in the coming months. Inspired by UK, Swedish and Belgian regulation, the EU has put in place legislation setting maximum CEO pay and bonus levels, as part of its capital requirements directive, and its shareholders rights directive.