Skip to main content

The content on this page is marketing communication

Painting of a man smoking a cigar in front of a fan
SKAGEN does not invest in companies which derive more than 5% of their revenue from tobacco. Vilhelm Rosenstand. By Peder Severin Krøyer, 1886. This painting is manipulated and belongs to The Art Museums of Skagen.

SKAGEN’s funds all follow our group-wide sustainability policy. When selecting companies to invest in, we evaluate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors before we make any decisions. In addition, we have chosen to exclude investments in companies within certain product categories or industries that we deem unsustainable.

Our exclusion criteria apply across all asset classes. It is of fundamental importance that companies we invest in follow international laws, norms and conventions. SKAGEN will not invest in:

Norm-based exclusions:

Conduct-based norm-breaches:

  • Companies that contribute to serious and systematic breaches of international law and human rights
  • Companies involved in serious environmental degradation, including the climate
  • Companies involved in systematic corruption and financial crime


Companies that produce or sell controversial weapons, including nuclear, land mines, cluster munitions, biological and chemical weapons.

Companies will be excluded if the breaches are considered serious and the risk of recurrence is assessed as high.

We also exclude investments in companies within certain single product categories or industries that are unsustainable. These products or industries are associated with significant risks and liabilities from a societal, environmental or health-related perspective. In these product categories there is also limited scope to influence companies to operate in a more sustainable way.

These product-based exclusions include:

  • Companies with more than 5% of revenue from tobacco
  • Companies with more than 5% of revenue from recreational cannabis
  • Companies with more than 5% of revenue from gambling
  • Companies with more than 5% of revenue from adult entertainment
  • Companies with more than 5% of revenue from coal related activities as well as companies mining more than 20 million tonnes of coal annually or that have over 10,000MW coal power capacity
  • Companies with more than 5% of their revenue from production and/or distribution of oil sands
  • Owners of palm oil plantations with unsustainable business practices
  • Companies that actively lobby against the goals of the Paris Agreement
  • Exclusion is to be used as a last resort and should only be applied where companies clearly fail to demonstrate change or improvements. If an excluded company demonstrates positive change that reduces the risk of recurrence, the company may be re-included in the list of companies we invest in.

For sovereign bond funds, we exclude:

Sovereign bonds issued by countries that are systematically corrupt, severely neglect basic social and political rights, or that are subject to UN Security Council sanctions.

Sustainability is part of the investment process

Beyond this, we seek to incorporate material sustainability issues into every investment case, including climate-related risks and opportunities. We will not make any investments unless we have a clear view and the extent of our clarity will subsequently influence the conviction we have in an investment case through position sizing and our assessment of the potential upside.

For example, if buying into an insurance company, our portfolio managers will be mindful of its exposure to risks related to climate change and rising sea levels. We will also evaluate the risks and opportunities of our exposure to fossil fuel, such as through oil and natural gas companies.

Positive change can take time

We also believe that ESG matters are not symmetrical in how they will influence an investment case. The trajectory of environmental improvements can be quite long, while the downside of an environmental accident can be immediate.

Likewise, the effect of social improvements is typically long-term in nature and will often exceed our usual investment horizon of 3-5 years. However, as with environmental fallout, social issues can cause short-term damage to a company’s reputation and valuation.

Governance is probably the ESG factor that has the most immediate impact on both a company’s upside and downside. A CEO or Chairman stepping down can trigger a positive re-rating or cause a sudden fall in a company’s share price. A poorly run company that does not treat its minority shareholders correctly deserves a lower valuation than one that is well run and respects its owners.

Active and engaged owner

SKAGEN has a history of engaging with companies and being a very active owner. This means we will exercise our voting rights at shareholder meetings and communicate with the companies we own. This dialogue with our investments comes through one-on-one meetings, conference calls or written dialogue. Through this process we will make our views heard and try to influence the company to make improvements in any areas we believe they are needed.

Throughout SKAGEN’s history we have been active in trying to influence companies in the right direction. However, sometimes the ability to influence is limited and we have instead decided to divest.

Read more:

An active and value based investment philosophy


Historical returns are no guarantee for future returns. Future returns will depend, inter alia, on market developments, the fund manager’s skills, the fund’s risk profile and management fees. The return may become negative as a result of negative price developments. There is risk associated with investing in funds due to market movements, currency developments, interest rate levels, economic, sector and company-specific conditions. The funds are denominated in NOK. Returns may increase or decrease as a result of currency fluctuations. Prior to making a subscription, we encourage you to read the fund's prospectus and key investor information document which contain further details about the fund's characteristics and costs. The information can be found on Storebrand Asset Management administers the SKAGEN funds which are by agreement managed by SKAGEN's portfolio managers.