Permanent Fund CEO Abruptly Retires

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation has announced the abrupt retirement of its chief executive officer Mike Burns.

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Burns’ immediate departure is due to unspecified health concerns, according to a short statement issued on Monday.

Chief Financial Officer Valerie Mertz has been named as acting CEO as the search gets underway for interim and permanent replacements.

The Corporation’s Board of Trustees convened a special meeting by teleconference on Monday morning to accept Burns’ retirement.

Board Chair Bill Moran said that they appreciate the many years of service and outstanding performance that Burns brought to his role as CEO.

According to state figures, Burns made $346,000 in salary in 2014. He also received 120-thousand dollars in additional compensation and benefits such as health insurance and retirement.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation is a state-owned corporation responsible for managing the state’s oil wealth savings account. It’s different than the Permanent Fund Dividend Division which is the state division responsible for vetting applicants for the dividend and disbursing checks every October.

Burns was president of KeyBank, National Association Alaska before he was named CEO of the permanent fund corporation in August 2004. He also served as president of Alaska Pacific Bank before it combined with First National Bank of Fairbanks to become KeyBank of Alaska.

The market value of the Alaska Permanent Fund is now up to nearly $54.5 billion dollars.