I am a lifelong Alaskan. However, I wasn’t always committed to being one. Born and raised in Kenai, when I graduated high school I wanted out of the state in the worst way. I went to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with the intention of having a financial career in New York, Chicago or San Francisco. However, I discovered very quickly that while cities are fine places to visit, living in one was not for me. I vastly prefer mountains and trees to skyscrapers and traffic. I returned to Alaska after graduating and have happily been here ever since.
Growing up in Kenai gave me an opportunity to experience a wide variety of jobs. I’ve fished on both a set net site and a drift boat in Cook Inlet; worked on the “slime line” in a cannery, processing thousands of salmon; been a roustabout on an offshore oil platform; and worked for VECO as an expediter and purchasing agent. As much as I enjoyed the active, non-desk jobs, I found that I preferred the academic challenge of finance more.
I discovered my love for finance in high school when I took economics as an elective. The study of money fascinated me. I pursued that love into college where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree. I went into banking after graduation, working as a Branch Manager for an Alaskan bank in Juneau. While there, I earned my MBA attending night classes at the University of Alaska Southeast.
I left banking to go to work in Alaska Permanent Fund’s portfolio room where I had my first real world exposure to investing a fixed income portfolio. After a couple of years with the state, I went back to the private sector, working on the equity side of finance for McKinley Capital Management. I earned my Chartered Financial Analyst designation while employed at McKinley and spent many years as a Portfolio Manager focusing on their Small Cap and Large Cap portfolios.
I am delighted to be able to continue my career in finance at APCM. Having been here for one month, I’ve found my co-workers to be knowledgeable, hard-working and friendly.
Outside of my career, I presently enjoy giving back to the community by serving as an adjunct faculty member at Alaska Pacific University, teaching an MBA practicum. I am a devoted husband and father and enjoy being active in my kids’ lives. I have spent the last five years as a FIRST Lego League coach and currently coach two different Lego robotics teams. I spent four years serving as a Cubmaster for the Boy Scouts of America and have been a registered Girl Scout leader as well. As a family we also enjoy camping, travelling, kayaking and skiing.
Paul Hanson, CFA®