Despite announcing that he would resign as a trustee of the Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) at a board meeting in December, Neil Ramsey is still a board trustee of the state agency managing $12.3 billion of public pension assets.
Following an Insider Louisville report in November about a possible conflict with state law regarding his service as both a KRS trustee and Anchorage city councilman, Ramsey announced at the board meeting on Dec. 17 that he would have to formally resign as a trustee because he could not continue to legally serve as both.
Despite those comments, KRS spokesman Shawn Sparks told Insider on Thursday that Ramsey had not yet resigned and still remained a trustee, and he did not know if Ramsey had changed his mind and planned on staying.
Asked about his status over email, Ramsey told Insider that his “resignation is imminent as we are very close to completing some critical work.”
Ramsey did not reply to a follow-up email asking what critical work he was specifically referring to and when he expected that to be complete.
Representatives for Gov. Matt Bevin have not replied to an inquiry asking if Ramsey has submitted his resignation to the governor.
Previous state attorneys general have issued legal opinions declaring that individuals are legally prohibited from serving simultaneously as an officer of both state and local government. Such opinions have also declared that KRS trustees are state officers, which led to the resignation of a trustee in 2013 who also worked for Louisville Metro Government.
Ramsey was appointed to the KRS board in 2016 by Bevin, where he has served as the chairman of its investment committee that approves how the pension systems’ assets are invested. In November, Ramsey was re-elected to his sixth term as a member of the Anchorage City Council.
In the December meeting of the KRS board, Ramsey noted that he could not continue serving as a trustee due to the state statute, “so I’m in the process of resigning, which I guess is sort of formally happening here.”
That comment by Ramsey happened during the discussion of a motion to create an unpaid adviser position for the board’s investment committee that had institutional investment experience, which Ramsey explained would be given to himself. That motion passed by an 11-1 vote, with only Betty Pendergrass — who was forced to resign as a trustee in 2013 due to the same conflict — voting against it.
Ramsey founded Ramsey Financial Inc., the parent company of the Ramsey Quantitative Systems hedge fund investment firm where he serves as both the CEO and CIO. The firms’ GAA Systematic Global Macro Fund was recently named one of the top 100 hedge funds by Barron’s.
Ramsey came under scrutiny in 2017 when the Courier Journal discovered that he had 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.