Neil Ramsey announced at Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees meeting on Monday that he is in the process of resigning from that position, citing a conflict with a state law that prevents a trustee from also serving as a city council member.
However, right after Ramsey made this announcement, the KRS board voted to create a new unpaid adviser position just for Ramsey, allowing him to continue working with the investment committee that he has chaired since his appointment as a trustee by Gov. Matt Bevin in June of 2016.
Insider Louisville first reported about the possible conflict last month, as previous state attorneys general have issued legal opinions declaring that individuals cannot serve simultaneously as an officer of both state government and a local government, and that KRS trustees are state officers.
Ramsey was re-elected to his sixth term as a member of the Anchorage City Council in November, and has served as the chairman of KRS board’s investment committee since 2016.
Ramsey told Insider last month that he was unaware of the past legal opinions and the forced resignation of a KRS trustee for this reason in 2013, but would consult with KRS legal counsel to determine if his two positions were incompatible.
In the KRS board meeting Monday morning, a motion was brought forth to create an unpaid adviser position for the investment committee that had institutional investment experience. After one member noted that the board already had an independent adviser, Ramsey spoke up to say that the motion “is specifically about me,” as he had to resign and would now fill this role.
“I don’t think that I can continue to serve on the board,” said Ramsey. “I’m probably going to have to resign because of the statute that you’ve been through Betty, where I’m a city council member and it’s been deemed that I can’t serve as a city council member and as a board member. So I’m in the process of resigning, which I guess is sort of formally happening here.”
Betty Pendergrass resigned as trustee in 2013 days after Attorney General Jack Conway issued an opinion that this position was incompatible with her job within Louisville Metro Government. Pendergrass now serves as a private consultant to various local governments and was re-elected as one of three members representing the County Employees Retirement System on the KRS board in 2017.
As for the new investment adviser position that was being created for him, Ramsey told the trustees that “I have a pretty good relationship with the investment guys and I think they’d like to be able to continue to talk to Bill (Cook) and myself — Bill’s on the board — so it’s specifically in my case related to that.”
The board then approved a measure to amend their bylaws to create this position with a 11-1 vote, with only Pendergrass voting against it.
Ramsey founded Ramsey Financial Inc., the parent company of the Ramsey Quantitative Systems hedge fund investment firm that he serves as both the CEO and CIO of. The firms’ GAA Systematic Global Macro Fund was recently named one of the top 100 hedge funds by Barron’s.
Since his appointment by Bevin, Ramsey has chaired the committee that approves how the $12.3 billion of KRS assets are invested.
Ramsey came under scrutiny last year when the Courier Journal discovered that Ramsey sold an Anchorage mansion to Bevin for a price that is now half of what it is valued by the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator’s office.