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Enacting the rules of global finance: sovereign wealth funds and the promotion of corporate governance reform


  • Michael Fini


  • Lena Rethel



In the wake of the financial crises of the last two decades, the promotion of corporate governance reform has emerged as a priority concern of the international financial community. This paper draws attention to the role played by Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) in this process. It shows that SWFs’ enactment of a common set of shareholder-oriented corporate governance reforms has not solely been driven from the ‘outside in’—i.e. conforming to prevailing global financial norms and pressures. Indeed, various SWFs are in fact attempting to change financial best practice from the ‘inside out’ by promoting a transformative shareholder-value model of corporate governance throughout the companies they hold in their investment portfolios. To better elucidate the dynamics of this process, this paper looks at the experience of two SWFs in Asia and Europe. More specifically, it will explore the corporate governance agendas of Norway’s Government Pension Fund-Global and Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fini & Lena Rethel, 2013. "Enacting the rules of global finance: sovereign wealth funds and the promotion of corporate governance reform," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 163-178, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:asiaeu:v:11:y:2013:i:2:p:163-178
    DOI: 10.1007/s10308-013-0348-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origins and Growth of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851.
    2. repec:hrv:faseco:30728046 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Henry Hansmann & Reinier Kraakman, 2000. "The End Of History For Corporate Law," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm136, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Feb 2001.
    4. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
    5. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
    6. Pekkanen Saadia M & Tsai Kellee S, 2011. "The Politics of Ambiguity in Asia's Sovereign Wealth Funds," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 1-46, August.
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