Gov. Mike Dunleavy arrives at Centennial Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, to attend the first day of the 11th annual meeting of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds. The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation is the host of the event. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy arrives at Centennial Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, to attend the first day of the 11th annual meeting of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds. The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation is the host of the event. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

International investors are gathering in Juneau this week. Here’s what they’ll be discussing.

Annual meeting brings globe-spanning group to town

Representatives from as many as 30 nations, Alaska state officials and Gov. Mike Dunleavy were among those present Tuesday morning in Juneau for an international meeting.

Centennial Hall is the site of this year’s annual meeting of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds — a group of dozens of state-owned funds like the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. (APFC), which is hosting the 11th annual meeting.

[WATCH: International finance meeting kicks off in Juneau, with 30 nations present]

The IFSWF was founded in 2009 and sets standards for state-owned investment funds and allows members to share niche information via in-person meetings. APFC CEO Angela Rodell told the Empire last week this is the first time one of its meetings has taken place in the U.S.

“It’s an opportunity to learn from peers,” said Logan Rahn, a private income & absolute return associate for APFC, Tuesday morning while walking into Centennial Hall.

The majority of the four-day meeting, including its first two and final days, are closed to the public and media. Thursday, the meeting’s third day, will be open to invited media and invited guests.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Global Currents: Technology. Partnerships. The Arctic,” according to the APFC, which shared an agenda for the more public day with the Empire. Remarks will start at 9 a.m., and Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon, IFSWF Chai Majed Al Romaithi and Rodell are expected to speak.

The open-to-media day will include a panel discussion about the future of the Arctic at 11 a.m. and at 2 p.m., OceanX vice chairman Vincent Pieribone will deliver the keynote address. OceanX is an ocean exploration initiative. The panel discussion is scheduled to be moderated by World Bank U.S. Director Erik Bethel.

At 3 p.m., there will be a panel discussion of geopolitical cooperation and the Arctic. It will be moderated by McHugh Pierre, Interim President/CEO, Alaska, Goldbelt Inc. and feature General David Petraeus, Chairman of the KKR Global Institute and former Central Intelligence Agency director, among others.

As far as what the less-public portions of the meeting will cover, an official spokesperson for Qatar Investment Authority who would not provide his name, said he expected the use of artificial intelligence and big data in investing to factor into the annual meeting’s discussions.

In light of having international movers and shakers in town, local environmental group 350 Juneau planned multiple climate change-focused events for the week in an effort to encourage IFSWF and the APFC to stop putting money into fossil fuels.

Rodell told the Empire last week the APFC’s responsibility first and foremost is to make decisions that make money for Alaskans.

“We’re not going to give up return in the short-term to make a political statement,” she said at the time.

However, the QIA spokesman said moving away from fossil fuels is something that’s on investors’ radar.

“I believe all funds of the world are looking into it,” he said. “Most people think investing in renewable is not really profitable, but that’s not the case.”


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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