Russell Investments’ director of capital markets research has left the firm to return to academia, while a communications specialist joined the

Melbourne office yesterday in a client-facing role just months after 36 people were retrenched from the Australian business.

Geoff Warren, formerly director of capital markets research at Russell, left last week to take up a position as senior lecturer at ANU.

Craig Morris, director, marketing and communications, Australasia, confirmed

Warren had left but said he “will continue to be actively involved in supporting our capital markets research program going forward”.

Meanwhile, Yesim Aksu joined Russell’s Melbourne-based marketing and communications team yesterday as communications specialist.

According to an internal memo sent out yesterday, Aksu will support the team in delivering communications support to Russell’s institutional clients and assist the marketing and communications team with other campaign initiatives.

“Yesim has considerable communications experience in the superannuation and financial services industry having worked for organisations such as Mercer, Citistreet and Australian Unity,” the memo said.

I&T News understands Russell is looking to hire at least one other person in an institutional client-facing role in

Australia, and is recruiting through its recently-established ‘people committee’ headed by director of actuarial and benefits consulting, Steve Schubert, for a number of a senior consulting positions globally.

The recruitment drive comes just three months after Russell Investments cut 20 per cent of its staff globally, including 36 in

Australia. The redundancies claimed the head of investor services, Joanna Davison (who has since resurfaced as regional director for Australia and New Zealand at Colonial First State Global Asset Management), one of her senior staffers

Andrew Lane, and business development managers Laird Abernethy and Paul Taylor.

Morris said most of those retrenched during the redundancy program were “non-client facing roles”.

“Now, there are a few positions being recruited…. they are all largely supporting the institutional side of the business and most of them would be client-facing roles,” he said.

“We’re continuing to strengthen out that side of the business. At the end of the day we’re clearly willing to beef up our resourcing and support if there’s clear demand coming from our clients. We’re talking to our clients on a regular basis and are looking at extensions of existing services or new services.”

The search continues for a head of consulting, replacing Andrew Lill, former head of implemented consulting and director of investment strategy for

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