No significant defections at Russell Investments' consulting and money management unit have been reported since parent London Stock Exchange Group PLC first announced it would be buying the firm in June, asset owners and industry insiders say.
London Stock Exchange executives never made a secret of their plan to potentially sell off the non-index portion of Russell Investments. On Feb. 5, the LSE made it official, and noted it had “a number of expressions of interest” for the business.
Insiders expect LSE officials to announce by mid-April a $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion price tag for Russell Investments' asset management business.
Clients contacted by Pensions & Investments are sticking with Russell for now. The majority mentioned how open Russell officials have been about the prospective change in ownership.
The Boeing Co., for example, has no plans to change. “They have communicated openly about the status of their ownership,” said Bernard Choi, spokesman for Boeing, Chicago. Russell Investments is a consultant for Boeing's $61.1 billion defined benefit and $45 billion defined contribution plans.
David Graham, communications manager at another Russell client, the $14.4 billion Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, Columbus, said in en e-mail: “We expect to continue our current relationship with them. We are aware of the situation and are monitoring. Our contact at Russell is keeping us abreast of the situations.”
Russell manages $200 million in domestic equities and $450 million in international equities for the Ohio pension fund. It also provides the beta exposure for the pension fund's U.S. equity portable alpha program as well as a derivatives-based international equities exposure and a targeted tracking error securities-based portfolio in non-U.S. equities.
Staff at another Russell client, the $30.2 billion Indiana Public Retirement System, Indianapolis, “has been in constant communication with Russell regarding possible ownership changes,” Jennifer Dunlap, public information specialist, said in an e-mail. Plan officials will “continue to monitor them closely,” she said.