Henrik Syse doesn’t know much about high finance, but that didn’t stop the Norwegian government from hiring him to help run one of the world’s largest investment funds.
Syre, a former philosophy professor, was hired three months ago as the ethicist (subscription required) for the country’s $190 billion Petroleum Fund. He weighs in on thorny questions that professional investors might not think are thorny at all: Should those petrodollars be invested in tobacco companies, weapons manufacturers, and the like? Syse hopes to use his new position to encourage more reflection and activism among investors, so that their strategy is based on principles not just profits. Good luck, professor.