Former Alaska Permanent CEO says termination was 'political retribution' – Pensions & Investments


Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.’s former CEO Angela Rodell has alleged her termination in December was an act of “political retribution.”
The $82.7 billion sovereign wealth fund’s board voted at its Dec. 9 meeting to terminate Ms. Rodell, who had headed the Juneau-based fund since October 2015.
A Dec. 9 news release from APFC did not provide a reason for removing Ms. Rodell from her position, simply saying the board has “decided to undertake a search for a new executive director to lead the Permanent Fund in its continued growth and evolving role in support of Alaska.”
In a letter Monday to Alaska Sen. Natasha Von Imhof, a member of the state Senate’s legislative budget and audit committee, Ms. Rodell said, “At no time over the past six years was I ever given, quantifiable metrics for performance. I believed I was required to procure resources as close to the budget adopted by the board as possible, leverage those resources as much as possible, and deliver outstanding returns on the fund.”
Ms. Rodell cited the sovereign wealth fund’s net return of 29.7% for the fiscal year ended June 30, and its annualized net return of 12% for the five years ended June 30, above their respective benchmarks of 27.8% and 11%.
“I believe my removal to be political retribution for successfully carrying the board’s mandate to protect the fund and advocate against any additional draws over the POMV (percent of market value) spending rule in front of the 30th, 31st and 32nd Alaska State Legislatures which is contrary to Governor (Mike) Dunleavy’s agenda,” Ms. Rodell wrote. “It is this direct conflict of agendas that contradicts the statement made by (Board) Chair (Craig) Richards to the Senate and House Rules (committee) on Dec. 15, 2021 that ‘politics had no part in the (board’s) decision.'”
The permanent fund’s percent of market value rule on withdrawals from its earnings reserve account is based on a percentage of the average market value of the fund for the first five of the preceding six fiscal years. The rule, established in fiscal year 2019, was set in statute at 5.25% for fiscal years 2019-2021 and 5% in the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.
Mr. Dunleavy has supported larger draws since his election as governor in 2018.
APFC’s Chief Financial Officer Valerie Mertz is currently serving as acting executive director while the board undertakes a search for a replacement.
APFC spokeswoman Paulyn Swanson, Ms. Rodell, Ms. Von Imhof and officials at Mr. Dunleavy’s office could not be immediately reached for comment.
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