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Reflections on the integrity of Norwegian fund managers

Norway

What is it that separates Nordic financial professionals from their counterparts on Wall Street and in the City? Well, for one, it’s a refreshing sense of openness and – if this account is to be believed – it’s also a keen sense of integrity.

UK newspaper, The Guardian, has produced another in a series of monologue-style articles with financial services professionals. This time, it’s with an equity research professional, who suggests that the job is a bit like being a journalist – only readers respect you, and the money’s much better.

However, nestled among the 1,000 words or so is a little nugget of information about fund managers working for Norway’s petroleum fund.

Fund managers are now increasingly barred from accepting any sort of client entertainment from the sell-side, for fear it could be interpreted as bribery, but in Norway they take it one step further: “The Norwegian Petroleum fund will even pay for their coffee and if you bring sandwiches they won’t touch them.”

If accepting a snack is considered tantamount to corruption, we can only surmise that Nordic fund managers are whiter than white.

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