Traditional asset consulting remains part of Russell Investments’ vision of being an ‘investment architect’ for clients, according to Australian managing director Chris Corneil, despite the impending departure of investment strategy director Andrew Lill, and its decision not to re-tender for some major consulting contracts.
Corneil said Russell would be replacing Lill, who will leave next week after seven years with the firm, to become AMP Capital Investors’ head of investment specialists for listed assets and fixed income. Global recruitment firm Russell Reynolds is conducting the search, which Corneil said would look internally and externally.
Explaining its recent decision not to re-tender for consulting contracts such as that with FuturePlus, Corneil said Russell wanted to focus on “a smaller number of deeper relationships” where it could create “high levels of value”. Simple “data delivery” of its recommended manager lists for each asset class did not meet this criteria.
“I really liken it to us being the investment architect, working with our clients to define their goals, creating the strategy to reach them, and then actually bringing the ideas to fruition,” Corneil said.
He pointed to Russell’s implementation services division, which globally trades $2 billion every day, as part of an integrated service it could provide to clients.