2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 25. Trust funds and their management.
25.15 Board; purpose and standard of responsibility.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 25.15 (2017)

25.15 Board; purpose and standard of responsibility.

(1)Purpose. The purpose of the board is to provide professional investment management of trusts, operating funds and capital funds established by law. It is the intent of the legislature that the board be an independent agency of the state which is to manage money and property for the state, its agencies and trust funds. The goal of board management shall be towards accomplishing the purpose of each trust or fund.

(2)Standard of responsibility. Except as provided in s. 25.17 (2) and (3) (c), the standard of responsibility applied to the board when it manages money and property shall be all of the following:

(a) To manage the money and property with the care, skill, prudence and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a similar capacity, with the same resources, and familiar with like matters exercises in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character with like aims.

(b) To diversify investments in order to minimize the risk of large losses, unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so, considering each trust's or fund's portfolio as a whole at any point in time.

(c) To administer assets of each trust or fund solely for the purpose of ensuring the fulfillment of the purpose of each trust or fund at a reasonable cost and not for any other purpose.

(3)Exemption. Sections 112.11 and 881.01 do not apply to investments by the board.

(4)Investments within standard of responsibility. Investments in reverse annuity mortgages may not be presumed to violate the standard of responsibility under sub. (2).

(5)Commissions. All records of commissions paid by the board for purchases and sales of investments are open to public inspection, except those relating to investments made or considered by the board in securities of entities that are in the venture capital stage.

History: 1983 a. 27; 1989 a. 31, 359; 1999 a. 83; 2001 a. 7; 2007 a. 212; 2009 a. 33; 2011 a. 32.

The Investment Board has the power to make investments that meet the standard of prudence under s. 25.15 (2), even if those investments are not specifically listed in ch. 25. Prior to making investments other than the types enumerated in ch. 25, the board is not required to make a threshold finding that investing solely in the “legal list" would not meet the standard of prudence. The statutory standard for prudence remains the same whether the board is investing in an enumerated investment, or one that is not enumerated. Because the standard of prudence, however, takes into account the trustees' powers to manage the funds, the board's expanded powers are a relevant factor in evaluating whether the board has met that standard. OAG 11-08.

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