If the London Stock Exchange Group's deal to buy Russell Investments goes through, it will create the second-largest index provider of U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds by combining Russell Indexes with FTSE, another popular ETF benchmark whose producer is also under LSE Group's aegis.
The LSE said Thursday that it plans to acquire Russell from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. in a $2.7 billion deal.
Russell's index business has about $5.2 trillion of assets benchmarked against it. FTSE has $4 trillion of equities benchmarked against it.
The two were linked to ETFs managing nearly $339 billion in assets, according to data from the two firms.
The combined firm will place third just behind MSCI Inc.'s $356 billion in ETF assets benchmarked to its indexes. S&P Dow Jones topped the list at $705 billion. Data are as of the end of April.
The deal will be watched closely, not just for its impact on the ETF space, but also for its impact on Russell Investments, whose money management unit oversees $260 billion, including in mutual funds covering most major asset classes.
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