Whether or not to declare a dividend, and in what amount, is one of the most important duties of all corporate Boards, and it is a duty taken very seriously by CIRI’s Board of Directors. In 1980, the CIRI Board of Directors declared the first CIRI dividend and CIRI has paid dividends every year since. The Board established a quarterly dividend policy in 1983, with CIRI paying quarterly dividends ever since. On December 8, 2011, ten days after the 40th anniversary of the signing of ANCSA, the Company reached an important milestone, having paid distributions totaling $965.7 million to shareholders–exceeding the original ANCSA cash payment of $962.5 million which was to be divided among all Alaska Native regional and village corporations. And with the September 2013 quarter dividend distribution, cumulative distributions to shareholders topped $1 billion.
Directors of a corporation have legal duties and obligations that require them to ensure that the best interest of the corporation is served. While this is usually aligned with the interest of the individual shareholders, it is not the same. For instance, the Alaska Corporations Code governs how and when dividends can be distributed. Both ANCSA and the Alaska State Corporate Code give the power to declare a dividend solely to a corporation’s Board of Directors. Under the law, shareholders have no power to set dividend policy for a corporation nor can they make the Board declare a dividend.
Click here to view CIRI’s dividend policy.