Alaska Permanent Fund says it is reviewing possible conflicts of interest with unnamed person

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A series of leaked email documents that show a possible conflict of interest with a member of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation’s Board of Trustees is a serious matter — so much so that the Alaska Permanent Fund has issued a statement acknowledging that fact and saying it is handling the matter internally.

Board of Directors member Gabrielle “Ellie” Rubenstein was revealed in emails by an Alaska blog to have been engaging in the actual operations of the Permanent Fund, directing investment activities, rather than serving only as a board member involved in broad policy decisions. Her father, David Rubenstein, is the founder of the Carlyle Group, a major global investment entity that is influential in finance and politics. David Rubenstein made his early fortune selling net operating losses for Alaska Native Corporations after having served in the Carter Administration. In one year, he and his partner brokered $1 billion in paper losses, and earned themselves $10 million in fees. The government soon closed the loophole that became known as the Great Eskimo Tax Scam.

Rubenstein is also the daughter of the former owner of the Anchorage Daily News, Alice Rogoff, who bought the newspaper for more than $30 million from The McClatchy Company, renamed it the Alaska Dispatch, but ended up losing it during bankruptcy proceedings three years later; the Binkley Co. bought it for $1 million and operates it today as the Anchorage Daily News. Rogoff had a reputation for getting deeply involved in politics and campaigns in Alaska; she was one of former Gov. Bill Walker’s most high-profile supporters. Her daughter, Ellie Rubenstein, is a supporter of Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who appointed her to the Permanent Fund Board of Trustees.

A vague statement about possible inappropriate interference in investment matters by an unnamed person[s] was issued by the corporation on Thursday.

“The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) acknowledges recent media reports concerning internal communications regarding potential conflicts of interest. We take these concerns seriously and were addressing the issue through established protocols prior to coverage by the media. We are committed to ensuring the well-being of our team and the integrity of the Fund’s investment process and to working on behalf of all Alaskans. Transparency and accountability are core values at APFC,” the corporation statement said. “A review of this matter is underway to identify next steps.  We will provide further updates as appropriate.”

The additional question raised by the leaked emails is whether Ellie Rubenstein was pushing the investment staff of the corporation to invest in companies that may be affiliated with either her own investment group, Manna Tree, or her father’s vast investment interests.

She was named to the Board of Trustees in 2022 by Gov. Dunleavy to serve a four-year term as one of the four public members. In 2023, she was appointed as vice chair. Her term ends in 2026.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Reminds me of a bunch of monkeys trying to get cookies out of a jar, only this is our piggy bank, we know we have to watch the members of the state Senate now this, and we continue to put these people in charge.

  2. Believe me, the Permanent Fund and its iconic importance to Alaskans, the mistrust that all levels of government in the US has earned since WWII, and the wrenches thrown into the Alaska economy by Alice Rogoff demand that this “review” be entirely independent of the executive branch. Any internal review will be suspected of hiding the goods it may uncover. PF employees who may have been pressured to do this or that could see possible promotion potential and salary enhancement in keeping this matter quiet.

    The people who were steering the boat when it hit the bridge cannot possibly do a review of the accident that any sane person would believe. Honesty and intelligence are required.

  3. We need an iron clad course for the PFD as all state departments and the public unions are after it all for themselves.
    It is clear that the PFD is a big piggy bank that these people are after it all.
    You watch if LaFrance gets elected all the unions will get raises.

  4. The Carlyle Group has always had a shady past with several ex-CIA big shots taking high ranking positions in the company throughout the years.

  5. Over the years, the Governor has made a number of appointments that are difficult to rationalize. Some individuals have been appointed to roles for which they lack knowledge and experience. In the case of this APF appointment the person probably had way too much knowledge, experience and interest. (And probably cares little for ordinary Alaskans.) I would urge the Guv to re-tool his process and appoint knowledgeable, credible Alaskans to get the job done.

  6. I have a book by Roger Stone, I believe is his, where he discusses what Rubenstein & Jeb Bush did in Florida w pretty much wiping out retirements & savings, as THEY made money, & if I’m not mistaking,, wiping out the Savings & loans industry also. Many elders lost their lifes’ earnings & homes. We lost our home partly from that & someone is still using my husbands’ VA benefit under his name to get lower rates on borrowing. I was told this by a veteran on base & told me he couldn’t take care of it. Anyway I called permanent fund ppl & governor when he was on PFD board, so he left & whola,in comes his daughter. Don’t trust her.

  7. “Her father, David Rubenstein, is the founder of the Carlyle Group, a major global investment entity that is influential in finance and politics.” Isn’t the Carlyle Group affiliated with Blackrock or Vangaurd? I am shocked to read that Dunleavy hired her onto the board given her father’s background. Is Dunleavy naive or was he selling us out?

    • So, I am wondering: why do we even have a group that is supposed to be managing our fund if the state is robbing it from us and our fund managers are not stepping up and saying something? Is there possibly some money laundering going on? “The APFC Board and staff fall under the State of Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act (Ethics Act).” {https://apfc.org/who-we-are/good-governance-is-good-business/}

    • AND talking about the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. They invested in Three Bears Alaska (along with some other investors and investments). Many of us hoped that Three Bears Alaska would be a chain that refused to get involved in the game against humanity, but it is beginning to look like Three Bears has sold us out also.

      Three Bears Alaska history: ‘https://threebearsalaska.com/three-bears-company-history/
      ‘Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. takes multimillion-dollar stake in grocery chain Three Bears’ 02/24/2023
      ‘https://alaskabeacon.com/2023/02/24/alaska-permanent-fund-corp-takes-multimillion-dollar-stake-in-grocery-chain-three-bears/

      ‘Three Bears buys 6 more retail properties in the Interior and Unalaska’ 09/26/2023
      ‘https://alaskapublic.org/2023/09/26/three-bears-buys-6-more-retail-properties-in-interior-unalaska/

      ‘State secretly invested in Three Bears grocery chain, electric cargo ships, seaweed and more through Permanent Fund’ 02/24/2023
      ‘https://www.dermotcole.com/reportingfromalaska/2023/2/24/state-invests-in-three-bears-grocery-chain-electric-cargo-ships-seaweed-and-more-through-permanent-fund

    • It’s way worse than that . BlackRock , Carlyle group , Vanguard and WellsFargo have our permanent funds invested . While not loaning capital to NorthSlope oil extraction ! They’ve come out publicly and announced this . We invest the peoples funds in company’s that won’t help extract oil from the slope? This is a huge story . Don’t worry , none of liberals will go to jail as they have an army for free lawyers to defend them and the media to deflect .

      The governor should issue a statement and the fact he won’t should be noted that something is fishy ! Started to smell a rat !

      • Yes, at what stage did the thugs get involved? Early in the game. I wonder if Hammond saw the writing on the wall? Thank you for commenting. So many people do not want to look further into what is going on behind the scenes because the water is so muddy.

  8. “We take these concerns seriously and were addressing the issue through established protocols prior to coverage by the media. Transparency and accountability are core values at APFC,” the corporation statement said.
    Ha! What a laugh. More like… we got caught and we still won’t tell u anything that we allow to go on.
    If citizens haven’t figured out yet that all our politicians and big Corp people aren’t working in cahoots to fleece we Alaskans, u aren’t able to see any corruption around you. Our Court system is another completely corrupt corporation

  9. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
    The Bill Walker years were rife with fraud, cronyism, and graft. This will be revealed in years to come. Any former governor who associated with the likes of Rogoff, Scott Kendall, and Byron Mallott has much to be accounted for, both ethically and morally. Walker was the prime instigator and mover of taking away Alaskans statutory PFD monies and allowing state government to haul it into their accounts.
    Little wonder that the People selected a new governor. Many of the old names from the Walker years are long gone, disappeared, or dead.
    And that includes Walker himself.

  10. And, at the top of the list with “bait and switch” Dunleavy is his favorite, Lying, Mealy Mouthed Adam Crumb at the commissioners desk of Revenue and in the PFD Board. Anything goes if he can help to make the PFD go in the direction of Bert Stedman’s helpful suggestions. Crumb devised the plan for the 100 billion dollar investment with his additional appointment to the PFD. Dunleavy is hoping no one will notice as he gets his favorites moving in his direction to increase his opportunity for a job after his term is up. With the PFD money, of course. Watch out for the bill coming up to lock in the PFD to use on as needed basis without anyone knowing. It would be a constant stream of revenue instead of once a year. I’ll be glad when Dunleavy and crews are gone from government.

    • It will be interesting to see what “career choice” Dunleavy selects when his term is up and he moves out.

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