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Of power and responsibility

Tom Fox | May 17, 2016

The Man from FCPA often says that there are business solutions to legal issues such as compliance with anti-corruption laws like the Foregin Corrupt Practices Act or U.K. Bribery Act. This means that in many ways, businesses, as much as the regulators, are driving compliance. There is another group in the business matrix that can also work toward compliance with applicable laws and regulations and better corporate governance. That group is corporate investors or shareholders.

Case in point: the Norwegian oil fund, a sleeping giant of an investor, has recently shown an interest in the corporate governance of those firms in which it invests. Given the amount of clout the fund has, this could be a game-changer, going forward.

As the Financial Times recently opined, “When the quiet one in the room suddenly shouts, people tend to listen.” I would add when the quiet one has $850 billion in assets under management, that voice can really carry. Earlier, the Norwegian...

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