The Unified Investment Program was established by the legislature to create a single agency vested with the authority to invest and manage state funds in accordance with state law and the Montana Constitution. The Unified Investment Program has grown from a book value of $321 million at year-end 1972 to a book value of $14.7 billion at year-end 2016, an annual average increase of 9.4 percent. During the same period, the number of accounts invested by the Board increased from 40 accounts to 488 accounts.
By state law 17-6-201, MCA, the Board is required to administer the Unified Investment Program in accordance with the "prudent expert principle," defined as:
- discharging its duties with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence that a prudent person acting in a like capacity with the same resources and familiar with like matters exercises in the conduct of an enterprise of like character and like aims;
- diversifying the holdings of each fund to minimize the risk of loss and maximize the rate of return; and
- discharging its duties solely in the interest of and for the benefit of the funds managed.