Former top Norwegian finance ministry official Skancke named as PRI chair

Architect of Government Pension Fund takes over from Wolfgang Engshuber

Martin Skancke, the former senior official at the Norwegian Ministry of Finance who had an instrumental role setting up the Government Pension Fund, has been appointed Chair of the Advisory Council of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the 16-person body that is responsible for setting the long-term direction and strategy of the Initiative..
Skancke, who takes over from former Munich Re executive Wolfgang Engshuber in the post, will join the PRI on April 1 and be based in Norway.
He was formerly Director General and Head of the Asset Management department at the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, where he helped set up the giant fund, a founding signatory to the PRI.

Before that he was Director General at the Office of the Prime Minister and head of the Domestic Policy Department.
In 2011, he set up his own consultancy firm to help governments in developing countries create their own sovereign wealth funds.
“Martin’s work has been instrumental in changing the way companies and markets behave, as well as how pension funds invest, and we are very pleased to welcome him to the PRI,” said PRI Managing Director Fiona Reynolds.
“His practical experience advising governments, institutional investors and corporations at the highest level on policy matters, coupled with his workestablishing the Norwegian Government Pension Fund as one of the world’s largest and most influential responsible investors, leave him well placed to lead the PRI Advisory Council.”
Skancke said the PRI has grown to become an influential global investor network “driving the development of a more responsible and sustainable model of capitalism”.
He went on: “Active ownership is part of the solution to building and protecting wealth for current and future generations.
“I look forward to being part of the next phase of the PRI’s development and making sure the PRI delivers maximum value to its signatories.”

One of his first priorities will be to take forward the PRI’s governance review, working with an external reviewer and the Governance committee ahead of an Advisory Council meeting in New York in early July.

Skancke has a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics and holds degrees from the Stockholm School of Economics and the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration.
He chaired the World Economic Forum’s Public & Institutional Investors Industry Agenda Council from 2010-2011 and was Norwegian representative in the drafting of the Santiago Principles for sovereign funds in 2008. Link