Historical Timeline of the Fund and APFC
1969 | The Prudhoe Bay Oil and Gas lease sale brings in $900 million in revenues, a significant windfall for Alaska. Some suggest saving part or all of the $900 million, however it is spent over the next few years on capital projects and programs such as the Alaska Student Loan program and the Alaska Longevity Bonus program.
1974 | Construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline begins and lasts 39 months. Costs total $8 billion, including the Marine Terminal in Valdez.
1976 | In November, Alaska voters, by a margin of 75,588 to 38,518, approve a Constitutional Amendment establishing the Permanent Fund.
1977 | On February 28, the Permanent Fund receives its first deposit of dedicated oil revenues totaling $734,000. The Fund’s asset allocation, consisting entirely of bond investments, is controlled by a chairman and board. The Legislature begins four years of public discussions regarding whether the Permanent Fund should be managed as an investment fund or as an economic development bank.
1980 | The Alaska Legislature passes Senate Bill 161, creating the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) to manage the investments of the Permanent Fund, and places a list of allowed investments into state law. APFC is officially established as a state entity and the Board of Trustees is entrusted with oversight of the Corporation and the fiduciary responsibilities of Fund management. In the photo to the right, Governor Jay Hammond is shown signing the bill creating APFC. $900 million in surplus oil revenues is deposited in the Permanent Fund by special appropriation. The Legislature also approves the first Permanent Fund Dividend program. This program is ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court because individual dividend payments varied based on length of residency.
1982 | The Alaska Legislature, at the request of the Board of Trustees, enacts inflation proofing to protect the Fund’s purchasing power. The first Permanent Fund Dividend check of $1,000 is distributed. The Legislature pays this first dividend, not with Fund income, but with surplus oil revenues.
1983 | Following changes to the statutory investment list, the Fund makes its first investment in the stock market, and later that year, in directly held real estate. APFC is functioning as a strong, viable, and independent organization. For the first time, the Trustees are establishing long-term goals for rates of return and are formally developing an asset allocation policy designed to achieve their goals. Investments are being made in U.S. stock and real estate for the first time as the Corporation grows to consist of ten employees.
1987 | Despite the stock market crash in October 1987, the Fund’s performance ranks in the top 9% of all public funds in the U.S. Total annual throughput of oil in the trans-Alaska pipeline peaks at 2 million barrels per day.
1988 | APFC kicks off their Alaska College Internship Program as a way for the Fund to help young Alaskans gain entry into the field of finance and investing.
1989 | The size of APFC increases to 18 employees. The Alaska Legislature grants the Trustees authority to invest a portion of the Permanent Fund in non-U.S. securities. The 7 billionth barrel of oil passes through the trans-Alaska pipeline.
1990 | After the Legislature expands the statutory investment list, the Fund begins to invest in stock and bond markets outside the United States.
1991 | On January 1, the 8 billionth barrel of oil arrives in Valdez. From 1991 through 2000, the Permanent Fund earned at least $1 billion in net income each year.
1993 | Fund assets reach $15 billion.
1994-1995 | APFC begins managing another fund: the Alaska Mental Health Trust Fund. By 1995, the Corporation has a sizeable staff of about 30. As the Corporation continues to mature, greater emphasis is placed on insulating the management of the Fund from political influence, while maintaining APFC’s ability to remain responsive to changes in state policy and accountable to Alaskans.
1997 | Surging stock markets drive Fund performance to all-time levels as the Fund grows to more than $22 billion. In a special forum, Alaskans around the state begin discussing the Fund's future. The Legislature appropriates another $803 million to the Fund's principal.
1998 | For the first time ever, Fund earnings exceed state oil revenues as the Fund reaches the $25 billion mark.
1999 | The Legislature increases the Fund’s investment flexibility to allow up to 5% of the Fund’s value to be invested in alternative investments.
2000 | The Trustees remain committed to a long-term, diverse investment strategy as the stock market begins a sharp decline that will last for three years. Trustees further diversify the Fund’s investment portfolio and increase the equity allocation to 53 percent.
2001 | 25th Anniversary The Board of Trustees formally endorses a constitutional amendment to change Fund payouts to a percent of the Fund’s total value (POMV). The first of a series of resolutions that would place this proposed change on a general election ballot are introduced in the Legislature at the Board’s request.
2002 | The Bear market that began in 2000 leads to the Fund’s first negative return in 2002. These market conditions carry through 2003.
2004 | APFC invests in two new asset classes: absolute return strategy funds and private equity. The Legislature changes state law to require cause before any of the four public members of the Board may be removed, furthering the efforts to keep APFC independent..
2005 | The Legislature makes a significant change in how Fund investments are determined, by removing the allowed investment list from state law so that Trustees make investment decisions solely under the guidelines of the prudent investor rule.
2006 | The Fund reaches $35 billion in value, an increase of $5 billion from the prior year.
2007 | The Trustees add a new asset class, infrastructure, to the Fund ’s investments. Several years of strong returns carry the Fund’s value to $40 billion.
2008 | A correction that began in late 2007 causes markets to drop dramatically and makes 2008 one of the five worst years in the 218-year history of the U.S. stock market.
2009 | The Board reorganizes the Fund’s investments into risk-based groups, where investments are grouped by the market condition that those assets are intended to address. This better fits the Board’s goal of building a portfolio that will provide a more stable return under a variety of conditions. Based on this and other innovative risk management activities, APFC is awarded the aiCIO Industry Innovation Award in the Sovereign Wealth Funds category the following year.
2012-2013 | Continuing the evolution of the Fund’s investments, the Board works to take advantage of APFC’s growing capabilities. Programs are created to bring international bond and infrastructure co-investments in house.
2014 | Fund assets reach $50 billion.
2015 | The Board amends two sections of APFC’s Investment Policy. One amendment allows staff to seek out any investment that has similar risk and return characteristics as infrastructure, rather than be limited to a rigid focus on traditional infrastructure sectors. The second amendment groups the Fund’s absolute return and real return investments under a single program. Specific amendments to the policy authorize the Fund to be placed in a smaller number of more concentrated investments to help lower investment costs and prevent overdiversification.
2016 | The Fund celebrates its 40th anniversary, created in 1976. FY16 is another volatile year, with continued global market corrections and declines in oil prices. However, APFC and the Fund are able to weather the storms with a diversified asset allocation, allowing significant losses in stocks to be offset set by gains in other asset classes. Oil prices eventually enter a period of relative stability, and the bond market outperforms expectations. The Fund ends FY16 with a value of just under $53 billion.
2017 | The Fund reaches a value of over $60 billion, growth that is attributed to APFC staff generating higher returns through active asset allocation and portfolio management. APFC is named a finalist for “Sovereign Wealth Fund of the Year” in Institutional Investor’s 15th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards. This serves as recognition of APFC staff’s stewardship of the Fund and commitment to being world-class investors on a global stage. APFC’s Trustees, Executive Leadership, and Staff implement a 5-year strategic plan, a plan that is forward thinking, adaptable, consistent with APFC’s values, and reflective of stakeholders.
2018-2019 | For the first time in state history, the Legislature adopts a mechanism whereby Fund earnings are used not just to pay dividends, but to also contribute to state government under a percent of market value (POMV) methodology. Under this rules-based framework, the state operating budget for FY19 includes a $2.7 billion POMV draw from the Fund for the payment of dividends and to support government services. The POMV draw is based on a percentage of the average market value of the Fund for the first five of the preceding six fiscal years. The draw is subject to appropriation and is set in statute at 5.25% for Fiscal Years 2019-2021 and 5.0% from Fiscal Year 2022 onward. In recognition of this transition period, when state revenues from oil development were unlikely to fully fund state revenue needs in the future, as a pivotal time for the Fund and Alaska, the Board of Trustees pass Resolution No. 18-04. This resolution affirms the importance of formulaic management of transfers into and out of the Fund to ensure its sustainability and long-term growth. In addition to the POMV structure, other elements are essential in achieving a balance between current demands on the Fund and the protection of intergenerational value: Adherence, Sustainability, Inflation Proofing, and Real Growth. The Alaska Permanent Fund continues to grow in global stature and emerges as an integral part of our state’s fiscal future. In FY18, the Fund’s investments gain 10.74% and the Fund ends the year with assets under management totaling $64,894,345,000. The quality and diversity of the portfolio’s investment returns across all asset classes, and the Fund benefits from having a board-authorized investment structure that allowed APFC to identify and respond to targeted opportunities and risks within a shifting global financial landscape. In FY19, APFC accomplishes significant growth with the support of Alaskans, welcoming 17 new staff and building up internal investment and management capabilities. The investment in staff, systems, and the remodeling of office space to accommodate today’s workflow requirements, ensures Alaska has a platform to deliver for the next 40 years the results Alaskans have come to expect.
2020 | The Fund is a significant contribution within the State’s overall fiscal summary and becomes Alaska’s #1 source of unrestricted general fund revenues for the State's budget given the decline in oil prices. The POMV draw from the ERA represents 42% of total General Fund revenues in the FY19 budget, 47% in the FY20 budget, and more than 50% in the FY21 budget. APFC Board of Trustees release the Trustees’ Paper Volume 9: The Role of Sovereign Wealth Funds in Saving, Stabilization, and Generating Income, sharing best practices of peer funds from Norway to Saudi Arabia, and closer to home from New Mexico to North Dakota. The paper examines frameworks that have resulted in peers flourishing and floundering, and thoughtfully analyzes how Alaska might learn from those experiences.