Michelle Seitz named Chief Executive Officer of Russell Investments

Leveraging her 30 years of experience in asset management, Seitz will lead the next growth phase of the global multi-asset firm

SEATTLE, September 5, 2017 — Global asset manager Russell Investments today announced that Michelle Seitz has been named chief executive officer and a director on the firm’s board. She will become chairman of the board effective January 1, 2018 and will be based in the firm’s headquarters in Seattle. She succeeds Len Brennan who will serve as chairman of Russell Investments through the end of 2017, after which time he will become a strategic advisor to the firm.

Seitz, a recognized industry leader with more than 30 years of asset management experience, assumes leadership of Russell Investments to drive continued growth at a time when the firm’s multi-asset approach is directly aligned with investors’ growing needs for outcome-oriented solutions, and when the global capital markets are demanding agile, risk-managed total portfolio management.

“For more than three decades, Russell Investments has been at the forefront of asset management capabilities that are critical for success in today’s investing environment—from cutting-edge asset allocation and unparalleled money manager insights, to some of the earliest forays into factor exposures and a competitively recognized implementation capability,” said Todd R. Crockett, managing director, TA Associates, which, along with Reverence Capital Partners, acquired Russell Investments in 2016. “We are excited to welcome Michelle as Russell Investments’ new CEO, and believe that her forward-looking leadership will help propel the firm into a new phase of evolution and growth that will benefit clients and associates alike.” 

Milton R. Berlinski, managing partner, Reverence Capital Partners, added, “We thank Len for his numerous contributions to Russell Investments over the course of more than two decades serving the firm’s clients. 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 OCIO capabilities that position Russell Investments for the future to address the exacting demands of investors globally.”

Seitz joins Russell Investments following 16 years leading William Blair Investment Management (WBIM) and serving on the seven-person executive committee of William Blair, which has more than 1,400 employees and offices in 10 cities across four continents. During her leadership tenure, Seitz drove the transformation and five-fold growth of WBIM from a regional high net worth franchise to the internationally recognized, global asset management business that it is today. Of note, she led the exponential growth of WBIM’s institutional business – from $2.3 billion in AUM to $65 billion in AUM – while also cultivating a culture of client-centric excellence, integrity and employee engagement that led to WBIM being a four-time recipient of the ‘Best Places to Work in Money Management’ recognition by Pensions & Investments.  

Based on her demonstrated track record of success, Seitz is well-positioned for her new role at Russell Investments where she will lead growth by leveraging the firm’s brand and pursuing the opportunity to help institutional investors and financial advisors navigate the dynamic global markets and achieve investors’ desired outcomes.  
Prior to assuming leadership of William Blair Investment Management in 2001, Seitz led the firm’s private wealth management businesses. Her previous experience also includes senior portfolio management roles with WBIM, Concord Investment Company, and Nationsbank. 

Seitz was named one of the 'Top Women in Asset Management' in 2016 by Money Management Executive and was recently awarded the Kelley School Alumni Association Academy Fellows Award, which honors the most accomplished leaders from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. An active industry participant, she is a long-standing board member of the U.S. Institute, an association of asset management CEOs, and actively involved in The European Institute. She has held several leadership roles with the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), which is responsible for the oversight, administration, and finances of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). These include a recent five-year term on the FAF board of trustees, as well as roles on the executive committee and as chair of its finance and compensation committee. Seitz was awarded her CFA designation in 1990. 

About Russell Investments

Russell Investments, a global asset manager, offers multi-asset portfolios and services which include advice, investments and implementation. Russell Investments stands with institutional investors, financial advisors and individuals working with their advisors—using the firm’s core capabilities that extend across capital market insights, manager research, asset allocation, portfolio implementation and factor exposures—to help each achieve their desired investment outcomes. The firm has more than $277 billion in assets under management, including more than $123 billion in multi-asset solutions (as of 6/30/2017). 

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Russell Investments operates globally with 21 offices, providing investment services in the world’s major financial centers such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Toronto and New York. For more information about how Russell Investments helps to improve financial security for people, visit russellinvestments.com.