Alaska Permanent Fund names new CIO

Russell Read, former CIO and deputy chief executive of Kuwait’s Gulf Investment Corporation, will join Alaska’s sovereign wealth fund on 9 May.

After five months of searching for a new chief investment officer, the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) has selected Russell Read, an investment industry veteran, for the position.

Read succeeds Jay Willoughby, who after four years with the fund resigned last October to join The Investment Fund for Foundations, a non-profit based in Pennsylvania. He will assume his new position on 9 May, taking over from Jim Parise, APFC’s head of fixed income who has served as acting CIO since Willoughby’s departure.

Read brings more than 30 years of experience to the position, having worked most recently as CIO and deputy chief executive at Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), a Kuwait-based financial institution equally owned by the six Gulf Cooperation Council states.

His previous roles have also included CIO at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, head of his own private equity firm and deputy CIO for Deutsche Asset Management.

In a statement, APFC chief executive Angela Rodell welcomed Read to the fund while also thanking Parise for filling in as CIO. “I have so appreciated his support and efforts as we have gone through many changes and transitions over the past six months,” She said, referring to Parise.

Rodell is also relatively new to APFC, having assumed the role of chief executive last October. She succeeded Mike Burns, who retired suddenly in June 2015 due to health reasons. He died on 16 July. APF chief financial officer Valerie Mertz served as acting chief executive until Rodell’s arrival.

APFC was established in 1980 to manage the investments of the Alaska Permanent Fund, a sovereign wealth fund created four years earlier to protect the revenue generated by the state’s oil industry. Its present value is approximately $52.7 billion.

Today, APFC also manages the assets of other funds designated by law, such as the Alaska Mental Health Trust Fund.