Former board chair departs JNL Funds board after 22 years

Michelle Engler is JNL’s second veteran trustee departure in two years

Former JNL Funds chair Michelle Engler has stepped away from the board after over two decades as an independent trustee, the second veteran to leave the board since 2021.

Her departure, which became effective at the end of last year, according to a Jan. 13 filing, came one year after the retirement of another former chair, William Crowley. The filing did not include details as to whether Engler’s leaving was planned.

A spokesperson for Jackson National Asset Management, the adviser to the funds, did not respond to a query about the nature of Engler’s departure or whether she would be replaced.

Engler, 64, joined the board in 2000 and was its chair from 2011 to 2013. She was the first lady of Michigan from 1991 to 2002 during the governorship of her husband, John. She sat on the board of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) from 2001 to 2008 and was founding chair of the Michigan Community Service Commission from 1991 to 1999.

Engler has been a practicing attorney since 1983 and is currently a partner at Engler LLC, a consulting and lobbying firm she owns with her husband.

The JNL board now has eight independent members, including Eric Anyah, 55; Michael Bouchard, 66; Ellen Carnahan, 67; John Gillespie, 69; William Rybak, 71; Mark Wehrle, 65; Patricia Woodworth, 67; and chair Edward Wood, 66.

Mark Nerud, CEO of Jackson National Asset Management, is the board’s sole interested trustee.

Richard Gorman is the funds’ CCO.

The board, which oversees 132 funds, has an audit committee, a governance committee, and three investment committees.

Total compensation for the independent trustees ranged from $337,000 to $434,000 for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2021, the latest period for which data is available.

Chicago-based Jackson National Asset Management (JNAM) is the investment adviser for the funds, which are used in variable products sold by Jackson National Life Insurance Company, headquartered in Lansing, Mich. JNAM managed $265bn as of March 31, 2022, the date of its latest annual report.

Michelle Engler
  • Independent trustee, JNL Funds, 2000 – 2022
  • Partner, Engler LLC, 2013 – Present
  • First Lady of Michigan, 1991 – 2002
  • Director, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), 2001 – 2008
  • Chair, Michigan Community Service Commission, 1991 – 1999