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Parnell reappoints Brady to Alaska Permanent Fund board

Former trustee was ardent backer of moving fund's offices away from Juneau

Posted: July 7, 2011 - 8:01pm

Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed a new member to the Alaska Permanent Fund’s Board of Trustees, a former trustee whose last action on the board was to make an aggressive push to move fund’s headquarters to Anchorage.

Retired insurance broker Carl Brady was named by Parnell to replace Nancy Blunck, whose four-year term had ended in June.

Former Rep. Bill Hudson, R-Juneau, who served on the board of trustees with Brady, said Juneau should be “wary” of him.

As chair of the Alaska Permanent Fund’s Board of Trustees in 2007, Brady urged the board to relocate to a bigger city, someplace other than Juneau.

The proposal had not been on the board’s agenda, but in an argument against Juneau, Brady said the international scale of the Permanent Fund’s investments meant its headquarters should be located in a larger city, with better access to markets.

Brady’s long speech to the board criticized Juneau as a place to do business, jumping from issue to issue with numerous partial sentences and incomplete thoughts, but leaving a clear impression that he strongly believed that the headquarters needed to be somewhere other than Juneau if the Permanent Fund was to be a “world-class” organization.

Brady aggressively sought a second to his motion to move the fund’s headquarters, but got none and it failed. At a later meeting a formal proposal to hire a consulting firm to study a move failed, with only Brady voting for it.

Hudson praised Brady as having a “very good financial mind,” but warned Juneau that he may again advocate for a move of the headquarters again.

“They really need to make sure they watch that and make sure he doesn’t start redeveloping that concept,” Hudson said.

Hudson said a move to Anchorage wouldn’t help the fund and would harm Juneau.

Following his re-appointment this week, Brady downplayed the headquarters move as an issue.

“It’s not something that’s on my list of things to do,” he said, “I’ve moved on on that concept.”

Brady has twice before served a four-year term on the board, once beginning in 1991 and then again in 2003.

Former Gov. Sarah Palin did not reappoint Brady in 2007 when his second term ended.

Before Brady brought his proposal to the board he brought it to Palin, but didn’t win her support for a move. Later, two members of her administration who served on the board of trustees led the opposition to a move.

Parnell spokesperson Sharon Leighow said Parnell has appointed Brady based on his professional background.

Brady’s insurance brokerage, Brady & Co., was the largest in Alaska before he sold it to a national insurance company.

“The issue of relocating the Permanent Fund headquarters has never been raised by the governor,” she said.

Brady replaces Blunck, a financial planner from Anchorage. She had sought reappointment to the board, but Parnell instead appointed Brady.

The six-member board oversees the management and investment of the $41 billion Alaska Permanent Fund and its more than 30 Juneau employees.

The board generally meets quarterly around the state, with its next scheduled meeting in Juneau in September.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or at patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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