Angela Rodell, Executive Director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, speaks to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce during their weekly luncheon at the Moose Lodge on Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Angela Rodell, Executive Director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, speaks to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce during their weekly luncheon at the Moose Lodge on Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaska Permanent Fund hiring more workers in Juneau

Juneau Chamber of Commerce applauds CEO Angela Rodell at weekly luncheon

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation will hire 10 new workers in Juneau, CEO Angela Rodell told the Juneau Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, earning a round of applause from a room of civic and business leaders.

The hiring, already approved by the Alaska Legislature, is part of a push to bring more than half of the state-owned corporation’s decisions in-house instead of being contracted out to private companies.

“That in-house management, I want to be clear, is right here in Juneau,” Rodell said, sparking the round of applause.

Her remarks came during the chamber’s regular weekly luncheon at the Juneau Moose Lodge.

The corporation’s fiscal year ended June 30, and it will announce results as soon as next week, she said.

Through May, the corporation had year-to-date investment returns of 10.1 percent, well above both the benchmark for unmanaged investment funds and above the corporation’s own target.

Rodell also announced — again to applause — that Juneau will host the 2019 annual meeting of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds.

This year’s annual meeting is in Marrakech, Morroco; last year’s was in Astana, Kazakhstan.

That meeting will bring the leaders of more than 30 sovereign wealth funds from around the world to Juneau in September 2019. Collectively, they represent trillions of dollars of global investments.

The Alaska Permanent Fund is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the United States, though its $65 billion value is on the small side by international standards.

Asked by a Chamber member why the fund is smaller than Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, Rodell pointed out that the fund has paid out more than $25 billion (mostly in dividends) since its inception. Had that money remained within the fund, its value would be much higher.

Rodell reminded her audience that the Alaska Permanent Fund has no offices outside of Juneau — and does not intend to open any. That can make hiring difficult, since fund managers accustomed to New York City are sometimes reluctant to move to Juneau.

“It’s hard for families to relocate here,” she said, citing the “quality of elementary education, lack of childcare and lack of ability for partners to find work” as detriments to hiring.

In addition, the state’s defined-contribution retirement system is a huge disincentive for people to stay in their jobs. When the Alaska Legislature switched the state from a pension system to a 401k-style approach, it made for easy departures.

“It is really easy to pick up and leave when you have a mobile benefit like defined contribution, and I think that’s what a lot of people don’t understand,” Rodell said. “When you don’t continue to pay people, you’re going to continue to see a revolving door.”

Despite those challenges, she said the fund has had some success by targeting people who are in the early stages of their careers and are looking for a resume-building option.

“Where we’ve had great success is in attracting the 28-35-year-old who may or may not be in a relationship,” she said.

Someone in a Wall Street firm without much upward mobility might be willing to move to Juneau for a better position, and she has found that younger workers are as much interested in an experience (such as living in Alaska) as money.

“It doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay,” she added. “They will get picked off eventually, and you just have to recognize that.”


• Contact reporter James Brooks at jbrooks@juneauempire.com or 523-2258.


More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 15

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, April 15, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Juneau’s Recycling Center and Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 5600 Tonsgurd Court. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Recycleworks stops accepting dropoffs temporarily due to equipment failure

Manager of city facility hopes operations can resume by early next week

People staying at the city’s cold weather emergency shelter during its final night of operation board a bus bound for the Glory Hall and other locations in town early Tuesday morning. In the background are tour buses that a company says were broken into and damaged during the winter by people staying at the shelter, and one of the first cruise ships of the season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau’s homeless head outdoors with no official place to camp as warming shelter closes for season

“Everybody’s frantic. They’re probably all going to be sleeping on the streets by the stores again.”

The Anchorage band Big Chimney Barn Dance performs in the main ballroom of Centennial Hall on Sunday night near the end of the 49th Annual Alaska Folk Festival. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
49th annual Alaska Folk Festival ends with promise of an ‘epic’ 50th

Weeklong event remains free after nearly a half-century “which is unheard of,” board president says.

Students leave the Marie Drake Building, which houses local alternative education offerings including the HomeBRIDGE correspondence program, on April 4. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Educators and lawmakers trying to determine impacts, next steps of ruling denying state funds for homeschoolers

“Everybody wants to make sure there’s a way to continue supporting homeschool families,” Kiehl says.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, April 14, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

TJ Beers holds a sign to advocate for the rights of people experiencing homelessness outside the state Capitol on April 9. Beers was homeless for four years and in three states. “I don’t know how I survived,” he said. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Lawmakers weigh whether to reduce or acknowledge rights of growing Alaska homeless population

As cities try to house people, Dunleavy’s protest bill would further criminalize them, advocates say.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, April 13, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read