Strategic Investment Solutions has bought back the 19.9% interest it sold to Russell Investment Group two years ago.
The deal was announced earlier this month; terms were not disclosed.
"We didn't see that (ownership at different levels) was necessary," said Michael Beasley, co-founder of San Francisco-based SIS. The repurchase "puts us back into the camp of independent consultants … "
Said Monica Butler, managing director of Russell's U.S. consulting group in Tacoma, Wash.: "For our clients, a lot of the benefits of working with SIS have been more indirect than direct."
Russell will continue to work with SIS in areas such as private equity and asset-liability modeling. Ms. Butler explained there is a benefit to acting as "sounding boards" because each firm has a different approach. For example, SIS does more direct consulting to individual private equity partnerships, while Russell has a multimanager approach and evaluates private equity advisers. SIS will continue to have access to Russell's research, as well as its seminars and website technology. SIS clients will be asked to sign confidentiality agreements in exchange for Russell's manager opinions, assuring Russell that information will not be shared without permission, Mr. Beasley said.
While the research exchange remains the same, Russell will no longer participate in SIS business and personnel decisions, Mr. Beasley said. "They will have no say or influence over our hiring, practice or financial management of the firm.
"That component of (the 2003 agreement) will go away."
SIS has 33 clients, of which 15 are public funds and 13 are corporate. Among its clients are the $119.2 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, and the $47 billion Oregon Public Employees' Retirement Fund, Salem.