Russell Investment’s member administration business has experienced positive growth since the launching of a new administration model in January.

The adoption of the new model followed the firm’s decision to bring in-house over 75 roles previously outsourced to IBM.

As part of expanding the team, Steve Wright, a senior financial planner from Sunsuper, was appointed to head up Russell’s Advice Centre.

Wright brings to the position over 20 years’ experience in financial services and will be responsible for providing on the spot advice to members on investment choice, contribution strategies and transition to retirement strategies.

Siva Sivakumaran, director, administration and consulting services at Russell, said the appointment signalled Russell’s commitment to the delivery of limited advice.

“We firmly believe all members should have access to financial advice through superannuation and that Steve’s background and experience is a perfect fit for our model,” he said.

At the end of March, AvSuper was the first fund to go live on Russell’s new member administration model, having selected Russell over Towers Watson , AvSuper’s previous administrator, to service its 6 000 members in December.

AvSuper’s CEO, Michelle Griffiths, said Russell’s consultative approach was a major drawcard for the fund and the implementation had taken place ahead of schedule with no disruptions for members.

Russell has also been appointed as Prime Super’s member administrator, replacing Pillar Administrator and delivering services to the fund’s 150 000 members from January 1 2012

The second win for the new administration model will increase Russell’s members under administration to 370 000.

The new administration business provides services including contributions and benefit payment processing, insurance and claims management, choice of fun, financial reporting, online services, interactive voice response, call centre and financial advice.

Russell’s Sivakumaran said the firm will be “aggressively recruiting” to bolster the team with over 60 people, aiming to have an administration team of 280 people by the end of the year to support the business’s growth agenda.

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