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Jackson Forum to Address Sovereign Wealth Fund Issues

August 12, 2016

Challenges and obligations facing governments in managing sovereign wealth funds will be explored by international leaders during the Stroock Public Forum on Sovereign Wealth Wednesday, Aug. 24, from 6-8 p.m. in Jackson.

Presented by the Stroock Forum, the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources and the Wyoming State Treasurer’s Office, the event will feature international experts and sovereign wealth fund managers from around the globe.

Attendance is free and open to the public. The forum, at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, will precede the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium.

Sovereign wealth funds are government-owned funds invested in assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate and precious metals, or in alternative investments such as private equity funds or hedge funds. The Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund is an example of such a fund.

Wyoming State Treasurer Mark Gordon says nations’ and states’ sovereign wealth funds are derived from a variety of sources and created for a variety of purposes. Those funded by revenues from fossil fuel production, such as Wyoming’s, have come under pressure in the past year as a result of declining prices and regulation.

“We are excited to have a conversation among peers about how people are contending with these new circumstances, and the strategies they’re using to preserve purchasing power for future generations,” Gordon says.

Other topics to be addressed include how large a sovereign wealth fund should be relative to the size of the population; the fundamentals of the economy and the role of the fund; and how the evolving global economy affects the rationale and expectations for sovereign wealth funds.

Confirmed panelists include Adrian Orr, chair of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds and CEO of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund; Alexa Lam, professor at the University of Hong Kong; Malan Rietveld, from the Center for International Development at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; Angela Rodell, CEO of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.; and Samuel Wills, ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellow in Oxford University’s Department of Economics. The forum moderator is Kathleen Hays of Bloomberg TV and Radio.

UW participants include Jason Shogren, the Stroock Professor of Natural Resource Conservation and Management, and Edward Barbier, the John S. Bugas Professor of Economics and Finance, both from the Department of Economics and Finance in the College of Business; Mark Northam, executive director of the School of Energy Resources; and Anne MacKinnon, adjunct professor in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Tom Stroock, who died in 2009, was a longtime oil and gas industry executive, community leader, Wyoming legislator and U.S. ambassador to Guatemala.

For more about the Stroock Forum on Sovereign Wealth, go online to

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