Outside Sweden AP4 also uses several means to exercise active ownership. Important tools include exercising the Fund’s voting rights at AGMs and cooperating with other institutional investors to put more weight behind the pursuit of key questions of principle.
The Fund’s opportunities for exercising its ownership role abroad in the way it does in Sweden are limited. AP4 is one of Sweden’s largest institutional investors. Internationally, the picture is completely different, because the Fund’s ownership is more widely spread and holdings are relatively smaller. Thus the Fund may have limited opportunities for pursuing ownership issues on its own or for participating in nominating committees.
The rules and regulations for pursuing ownership issues differ signifycantly among markets. What may appear self-evident in Sweden, in terms of opportunities for exercising an ownership role, can be completely different in another market. Local codes and regulations, industry standards, listing agreements, and circumstances specific to each market can lead to divergence from principles appropriate to particular markets.
AP4’s guidelines for corporate governance in foreign companies are based on internationally accepted principles for good corporate governance, chiefly the UN Global Compact and the OECD Principles for Corporate Governance and Multinational Corporations. The principles cover proposals from boards as well as shareholders.