Russell Investments plans to acquire U.S. One, the owners of the One Fund ETF, a key step in enabling the company to get into the ETF business, confirmed Russell spokesman Steve Claiborne.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
A preliminary proxy statement filed with the SEC on Wednesday listed Russell Investment Management, a subsidiary of Russell Investments, as the replacement investment adviser for the One Fund; U.S. One was the previous adviser, Mr. Claiborne said.
One Fund shareholders are scheduled to vote in mid-February on the transfer of assets and acquisition of U.S. One; the deal is expected to close shortly after shareholder approval. If approved, the One Fund would become Russell’s first ETF.
Paul Hrabal, president of U.S. One, will work with Russell Investments as a consultant to the ETF business.
One Fund is a small index exchange-traded fund of ETFs with around $10 million in assets, according to its website. It invests in four Vanguard ETFs and one iShares ETF, giving what it says is exposure to 95% of the equities trading on world markets.
“Russell continues to build the infrastructure for viable and comprehensive ETF offerings,” Jim Polisson, managing director of Russell’s global ETF business, said in a statement Wednesday. “The acquisition of U.S. One provides Russell with a platform to play a unique role in this dynamic and fast-moving growth arena.”
Mr. Polisson, who was managing director at BlackRock, was hired in January 2010 to build Russell’s ETF business. Russell has not offered its own ETFs, though its indexes are licensed in conjunction with products by various major ETF sponsors.