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Russell Investments Names Michelle Seitz CEO

Seitz has joined the asset manager from William Blair.

  • Alicia McElhaney

Russell Investments has hired Michelle Seitz as chief executive officer, the latest change to senior management at the company in the past year.

Seitz, previously the head of investment management at William Blair, began her new role on Thursday and will become chairman of Russell in January, according to a statement from the firm. She replaces Len Brennan, who was CEO for six years and currently serves as chair. He will become a strategic adviser to the asset manager next year.

The leadership change comes about 15 months after private-equity firms TA Associates and Reverence Capital Partners acquired Russell Investments from London Stock Exchange Group for $1.15 billion. Seitz, who served on the William Blair’s seven-person executive committee, helped expand its institutional business to $65 billion of assets under management from $2.3 billion in 2001.

“Even though it’s 81 years old, I do think there’s so much more Russell can bring to the industry," Seitz said in a phone interview. “The investment horsepower of the organization is just only in its nascent period.”

Seitz declined to comment on any potential changes to the firm’s strategy.

“Under Len’s leadership for the past six years, the firm has built on its legacy of asset management innovation to offer industry-leading multi-asset solutions and recognized” outsourced-chief investment officer services, Milton Berlinski, a managing partner at Reverence Capital, said in the statement.

Before becoming William Blair’s head of investment management, Seitz led the firm’s private wealth-management business. She also previously worked in senior money management roles at Concord Investment Co. and Nationsbank, according to the statement.

Russell has shifted several executives since TA Associates and Reverence Capital completed their acquisition of the asset manager.

In January, Bryan Weeks was appointed to lead the firm’s Americas institutional business, after working as CEO of Silver Creek Capital Management for 12 years. He succeeded former head of Russell’s Americas institutional business, Greg Gilbert.

In April, Russell hired a new chief marketing officer, Toby Hoden, who formerly served as chief marketing officer at Voya. The same month, the firm said it hired Joseph Linhares from BlackRock as its new head of EMEA, or Europe, the Middle East and Africa.