Angela Rodell, executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, speaks in July 2018. An APFC spokeswoman said the corporation has declined an invitation to a Saudi investment conference. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Angela Rodell, executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, speaks in July 2018. An APFC spokeswoman said the corporation has declined an invitation to a Saudi investment conference. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation not attending Saudi conference

But not for political reasons.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation declined an invitation to Saudi Arabia’s global investment conference this week, but not for political reasons.

The decision to not attend the second annual Future Investment Initiative was made in August, APFC spokesperson Paulyn Swanson told the Empire via email. At that time, the corporation was searching for a new Chief Investment Officer, and “we had a lot going on back then,” Swanson wrote.

By phone, she said the corporation receives many such invitations and that it is not unusual when they are declined.

Since the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi officials in Turkey, many executives and business officials have canceled plans to attend the conference. Those canceling their appearances have included the chief executives of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Siemens, and foreign and finance ministers of several nations.

Even without their attendance, more than 3,000 people still attended the opening of the conference on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, headquartered in Juneau, invests its assets globally and APFC representatives frequently appear at international conferences. As of Oct. 19, it had a market value of $63.26 billion, making it the largest sovereign wealth fund in the United States.

The APFC will host the 2019 International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds in Juneau, bringing international representatives to the capital city. The meeting will take place Sept. 10-13 and include business meetings, workshops, a gala dinner and tours. The APFC is hiring an event planner to coordinate the event.

• Contact reporter James Brooks at or 523-2258.

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