Alaska Permanent Fund selects new CEO

Contingent on salary negotiations, former Commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Revenue Angela Rodell will serve as the fund’s new boss.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) has concluded its three-month long search for a new chief executive by selecting former Commissioner of the Department of Revenue Angela Rodell.

If salary negotiations are successful, Rodell will succeed Mike Burns, who retired suddenly in June citing health issues after holding the position for nearly 12 years. He died on July 16. APF chief financial officer Valerie Mertz has been serving as acting chief executive since his retirement.

Rodell has more than 20 years of experience in finance in both the public and private sector. She moved to Alaska in 2011 to assume the position of Deputy Commissioner of Revenue, overseeing the Treasury Division. She served in that role until 2013 when Alaska Governor Sean Parnell appointed her Commissioner.

Before moving to Alaska, Rodell was a senior vice president at First Southwest Corporation, an investment bank specialising in public finance, capital markets, correspondent clearing and asset management. According to the statement, in the course of her decades-long career she focused primarily on debt issuance and capital financing plans.

APFC, which received 18 applications for the position, announced a shortlist of four last month. The other three finalists were Brian Rogers, former chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Alexander Slivka, director of institutional marketing at McKinley Capital Management; and Glenn Cipriano, president of Alaska USA Trust Company.

The organisation is also searching for a new chief investment officer following the resignation of Jay Willoughby, who after four years in the position left October 6 to join The Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF), a non-profit based in Pennsylvania with more than $11 billion in assets under management.

Last week, APFC appointed Jim Parise as acting CIO, currently director of fixed income investments, a position he has held since 2004, leading a team of three fixed income professionals in the management of the more than $10 billion APFC internal fixed income portfolio. He also oversees the fund’s external fixed income managers. Parise joined the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) in July 2001 as a senior fixed income investment officer.

APFC’s board of trustees is working with staff to initiate a search process for the CIO position and will post a job ad on its website when it becomes available, the organisation said in a statement.

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 billion. 

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