Sovereign wealth funds may not make newspaper headlines often, but they play an increasingly important role in global capital markets, as their asset size has continuously grown in recent years. The value of all sovereign wealth funds worldwide reached $6.51 trillion in March 2016, more than doubling the number in 2008, according to the 2016 Preqin Sovereign Wealth Fund Review. By common knowledge, the history of sovereign wealth funds dates back to the 1950s, when countries created these funds out of budgetary surplus.

Recent funds like Quebec's Generations Fund, North Dakota's Legacy Fund and West Virginia's Future Fund, as well as funds that are now a few decades old, such as the Alaska Permanent Fund and the Alberta Heritage Fund, typically have a common funding source: a percentage of the severance taxes paid on natural resource extraction. However, as described in the next section, many of these funds are not the result of newly-discovered petroleum wealth. Indeed, the oldest North American sovereign wealth funds trace their origins to the early days of the United States itself.

Canada - Alberta's Heritage Fund

Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund (HSTF), established in 1976:10 by former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed:10 had three objectives: "to save for the future, to strengthen or diversify the economy, and to improve the quality of life of Albertans." The HSTF operates under the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund Act and provides "prudent stewardship of the savings from Alberta's non-renewable resources by providing the greatest financial returns on those savings for current and future generations of Albertans." The Heritage Savings Trust Fund used oil revenues to invest for the long term in such areas as health care, education and research and as a way of ensuring that the exploitation of non-renewable resources would be of long-term benefit to Alberta. As of 2012, the fund was invested in stocks, bonds, real estate and other ventures, with the aim of generating revenue for the province.

Between 1980 and 2014, although non-renewable resource revenues (NRR) in Alberta generated almost $190 billion the value of the Heritage Fund in 2014 was only $17.3 billion. After 1987 NRR was no longer added to the Heritage Fund. By 2009 after losing $3 billion in the markets, the value of the Heritage Fund had dropped to $14 billion, which was its value in 1985. The Alberta's Heritage Savings Trust Fund (HSTF) was worth $17.5 billion as of March 31, 2014 according to the Alberta government's 2013-2014 annual report.".

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USA - Alabama Trust Fund

Discovery of natural gas in Mobile Bay in 1978 led to active drilling and development of the large gas reserves below Alabama’s coastal waters. The State received bids totaling $449 million in 1981 for the rights to develop offshore tracts. In 1982, voters approved the creation of the Alabama Heritage Trust Fund (AHTF) with the revenues from this first sale of drilling rights. The AHTF income was used to finance a $520 million bond issue for capital outlay projects. On August 14, 1984, the state received more than $347 million from leases awarded on offshore tracts.

In 1985, the voters of the state approved Amendment 450 creating the Alabama Trust Fund (ATF) as an irrevocable, permanent trust fund. The ATF was established to capture future revenues from sales of offshore drilling rights and from royalties on the resulting gas production. This amendment also terminated the Heritage Trust Fund in 2001 with all trust capital transferred to the ATF. The initial corpus of the ATF was $333,583,680. In December 2001, the Heritage Trust Fund transferred $467,002,694 in trust capital to the ATF.

The trust fund initially received as principal 99 percent of all oil and gas capital payments paid to the State, with the remaining one percent to the Department of Conservation-Lands Division. Several subsequent amendments have modified this.

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USA - Alaska Permanent Fund

APFC is a state-owned corporation, based in Juneau, that manages the assets of the Alaska Permanent Fund and other funds designated by law, such as the Alaska Mental Health Trust Fund. Four years after passing a constitutional amendment to create a Permanent Fund, in 1980 the Alaska State Legislature created the APFC. From February 1976 until April 1980, the Department of Revenue Treasury Division managed the state's Permanent Fund assets.

One of the most important things that the Board does is to review, adopt and monitor an asset allocation that achieves a five percent real (above inflation) rate of return in accordance with the Prudent Expert Rule. The Prudent Expert Rule charges fiduciaries to act with discretion and intelligence, to seek reasonable income, preserve capital, and, in general, avoid speculative investments. To reduce risk exposure, APFC diversifies assets as well as management styles. The APFC uses both internal staff and external money managers in managing the Fund's asset classes:stocks, private equities, bonds, real estate infrastructure and absolute return strategies.

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USA - The Louisiana Education Quality Trust Fund (LEQTF)

The LEQTF was created in 1986 by an Act of the Louisiana Legislature and an amendment to the Louisiana Constitution passed by the citizens of Louisiana. Investment income generated by the fund is dedicated to the sole purpose of providing educational enrichment programs. The acts established as beneficiaries, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the Board of Regents (Regents). In addition, the acts also provided for the investment of these funds by the State Treasurer. The LEQTF was established with roughly $540 million; has grown to more than $1.2 billion; and has paid out more than $1 billion in investment earnings to Regents and BESE.

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USA - The Louisiana Millennium Trust Fund

The Millennium Trust Fund was created by Act 1295 of the Legislative Regular Session of 1999 and established in the State Treasury as a special permanent trust fund. Act 1295 further created three special funds within the Millennium Trust. These funds are the Health Excellence Fund, the Education Excellence Fund, and the TOPS Fund. The funding for the Millennium Trust comes from the tobacco settlement proceeds as prescribed by the Master Settlement Agreement executed on November 23, 1998. It has grown to a balance of about $1.4 billion.

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USA - The Louisiana Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) of the People's Republic of China is an administrative agency tasked with drafting rules and regulations governing foreign exchange market activities, and managing the state foreign exchange reserves, which at the end of December 2012 stood at $3.31 trillion for the People's Bank of China. The current director is Pan Gongsheng.

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USA - The Louisiana Transportation Trust Fund

The Transportation Trust Fund was established in 1990, as a special permanent trust fund in the state treasury by a Legislative act and the passage of an amendment to the Louisiana Constitution by the citizens of the State. The act allows the Louisiana State Bond Commission to issue and sell bonds, notes, or other obligations secured by gasoline and fuels tax revenues. The monies in the trust fund are used for construction and maintenance of state and federal roads and bridges, the Statewide Flood-Control Program, ports, airports, transit, state police traffic control projects, and the Parish Transportation Fund.

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USA - New Mexico State IC

The staff of the New Mexico State Investment Office has adopted a new Mission Vision Values statement, to better define the SIC's role in growing and protecting New Mexico's Permanent Endowment Funds. The purpose of the state investment program is to manage the state's permanent funds for the citizens of New Mexico in order to maximize distributions to the state's operating budget while preserving the real value of the funds for the future generations of New Mexicans. Goals and Objectives To preserve the Permanent Funds and the benefits they provide through prudent investment and long-term growth of the Fund To distribute the legislatively mandated allocations to the beneficiaries To optimize total risk-adjusted returns of the Permanent Funds, as well as the investment pools managed by the SIC on behalf of our clients Council Activities Internal Investment Strategy Team, overseeing SIC Portfolio Optimization Program External Investment Pools (Large Cap Active, Small/Mid Cap, Non-US Emerging and Non-US Developed Markets) Economically Targeted Investments (New Mexico private equity, NM Bank CD's, etc.) Other Alternative Investments (national private equity, real estate, hedge funds) Program Support (Investment accounting, administrative accounting, purchasing, personnel, contract management, and other administrative support)

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USA - North Dakota Government Funds*

State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt has always believed "The people's treasury is the people's business," with that in mind we have identified and defined various funds held by the state, the revenue source of those funds and their use.

Fund balances are updated quarterly as funds are reconciled and information becomes available. Some funds may be capped and may not reflect a change.

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USA - Texas Permanent School Fund

The Texas Permanent School Fund (PSF) was created with a $2,000,000 appropriation by the Texas Legislature in 1854 expressly for the benefit of the public schools of Texas. The Constitution of 1876 stipulated that certain lands and all proceeds from the sale of these lands should also constitute the PSF. Additional acts later gave more public domain land and rights to the PSF.

In 1953, the U.S. Congress passed the Submerged Lands Act that relinquished to coastal states all rights of the U.S. navigable waters within state boundaries. If the state, by law, had set a larger boundary prior to or at the time of admission to the Union, or if the boundary had been approved by Congress, then the larger boundary applied.

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USA - Texas Permanent University Fund

The Permanent University Fund (PUF) is a sovereign wealth fund created by the State of Texas to fund public higher education within the state. A portion of the returns from the PUF are annually directed towards the Available University Fund (AUF), which distributes the funds according to provisions set forth by the 1876 Texas Constitution, subsequent constitutional amendments, and the board of regents of the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System. The PUF provides extra funds, above monies from tax revenues, to the UT System and the Texas A&M System which collectively have approximately 50 percent of state public university students. The PUF does not provide any funding to other public Universities in the State of Texas.

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USA - Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund

Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund (PWMTF) operates as an investment fund. The Fund deposits one and a half percent of the severance tax on each mineral into the fund. PWMTF conducts business in Wyoming.

Established in 1974 by the Wyoming Legislature, the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund (PWMTF) is that state's oldest and largest permanent fund, with assets of $4.2 billion as of June 30, 2009. It is funded by a portion of severance taxes on mineral revenues and occasional direct legislative appropriations, while income from the fund goes to the state general fund. The fund covers part of the costs of running the state, and also acts like an endowment for the state by conserving its wealth for future generations. Read more: Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund - PWMTF Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/permanent-wyoming-mineral-trust-fund.asp#ixzz4UeXlDbh1 Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook

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USA - The Utah School & Institutional Trust Funds Office (SITFO)

The Utah School & Institutional Trust Funds Office (SITFO) is an independent team of investors working to create a brighter future and more equitable present for Utah's education programs. A strong democracy is founded on education for all. That's the vision that Thomas Jefferson held over 200 years ago. To make this ideology a reality, Jefferson proposed that land be reserved in each new state for schools. When Utah became a state in 1896, the U.S. Congress granted approximately six million acres of land to benefit public education in perpetuity. Since then, the management of these lands has raised approximately $2 billion (and counting) for Utah schools. To further benefit our children, the Utah School & Institutional Trust Funds Office (SITFO) was created to optimize these funds. The state assembled a team of investment professionals with significant financial experience in both government and the private sector. SITFO is united with the education community, legislature, and state government. Together, they fulfill Jefferson's vision by managing and growing revenue for Utah schools, opening the door for a future of well-educated, successful citizens.

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USA - West Virginia Future Fund

The West Virginia Future Fund is a permanent trust fund which began operations in March 2014. It was established via the passage of SB 461 and SJR 14 to make the fund constitutionally protected under West Virginia law. Funding comes from a 25% natural gas and oil severance tax. Under the law, only the interest and other income will be spent, while the principal will accumulate.

Beginning in 2020, the fund will start paying out dividends to finance activities such as education, human resource development, economic development, infrastructure development, and tax relief. The fund is expected to reach $127 million by 2019. It will remain in the control of the West Virginia Treasurer's Office, and will be invested by the West Virginia Investment Management Board

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