IS GOOD BUSINESS
Alaska Statutes establish APFC as a quasi-independent state agency to manage and invest the assets of the Permanent Fund. The Board of Trustees is created in state law to manage APFC and oversee the Fund’s investments.
Decades of success in shifting global financial landscape requires acumen, discipline, and adaptability to identify and respond to opportunities and risks. Throughout the years, APFC has worked diligently to build credibility and develop long-term, successful investment strategies for the Fund. On the financial stage, the Permanent Fund is respected among sovereign wealth funds throughout the world for its innovation and transparency. This esteemed status allows APFC to access collaborative relationships, compete on a global scale, and set industry standards for best practices and governance.
Key determinates of APFC’s governance success include: an effective independent management and organizational structure, the adherence to accountability measures, defined legal and regulatory responsibilities, established policies and procedures, as well as being a leader in establishing best practice standards.
State law creates the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, an agency separate from the State Treasury, to manage the Fund, and outlines the membership and terms of the six-member Board of Trustees that sets the investment policies for the Permanent Fund. The purpose of the separation of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation from the State Treasury, including the creation of an independent board, was to help shield the investments of the Permanent Fund from political influence. Alaska State Law (AS 37.13) lays out the general guidelines for the Fund’s investment goals, however, as fiduciaries of the Fund, the APFC Board of Trustees has the full authority to make investment decisions.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
APFC has a full set of financial controls and regular reporting practices in place. The finance department is separate from the investment function. Many duties of the accounting department are similar to internal audit functions and multiple approval levels are required for cash transfers and monthly reconciliations of all accounts. Financial and performance reports are produced (daily, weekly, and monthly) to ensure accuracy of data and compliance with polices and laws.
Alaska State Law requires that the Permanent Fund produce an annual report that includes financial statements evaluated by independent outside auditors, and that it be written in easily understandable language. Each year the Board appoints an audit sub-committee, which hires an independent external auditor, approves the auditor’s proposed plan and reviews the subsequent audit report and audited statements. The audit is performed in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the U.S. This audit is made public as part of the annual report required by law. The external audit does not include an examination of management activities and related control systems.
The Board of Trustees must follow the Open Meeting Act guidelines contained in Alaska State Law, and the Corporations non-proprietary records are available for public inspection under state law as well.
LEGAL AND REGULATORY
The Alaska Permanent Fund is established in the Alaska Constitution, while the objectives and investment guidelines of the Fund are defined in State law, specifically in Alaska Statutes 37.13. The Principal of the Fund is constitutionally protected, whereas the disposition of income is directed to the Earnings Reserve Account as established in AS. 37.13.145. State law gives authority to the governor to appoint the members of the APFC Board of Trustees, and provides requirements for membership.
State law (AS 37.13.120) requires that all investments be made under the guidelines of the prudent investor rule and that a reasonable diversification of assets must be maintained unless it is clearly prudent not to do so. Investments may be made in Alaska if these investments present the same risk and return profiles as comparable investments outside of Alaska. The corporation may not borrow money or guarantee from the principal of the fund the obligations of others, except it may borrow money if the borrowing is nonrecourse to the corporation and the fund. The Board of Trustees is required to draft and maintain a list of allowed investments under regulations, this list is maintained in Alaska Administrative Code 15 AAC 137.
The APFC Board of Trustee has established By-Laws, Governance and Investment Policies and Resolutions to provide an established management structure.
The APFC Board and staff fall under the State of Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act (Ethics Act). The Ethics Act, codified in State law, provides guidelines and regulations that promote ethical behavior by state employees and board members. Each new Board member and employee is briefed on the Ethics Act requirements as part of their orientation, and updates are provided as needed.
APFC is a founding member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF), a global network of sovereign wealth funds (SWF) created to enhance collaboration and promote a deeper understanding of SWF activity, and raise the industry standards for best practices and governance.
APFC is proud to be a leader and participant in the joint effort between the International Monetary Fund and the IFSWF in the formation and promotion of the Santiago Principles. These voluntary guidelines for transparency, accountability and prudent investment practices have been adopted by APFC as our working principles. Through teamwork and devotion to these best practices, APFC is able to set standards and be competitive in the global market.