Currency management

Manage complex currency risks.

The challenge

Currency volatility in an international portfolio can sometimes swamp the return expected from the underlying asset portfolio. We have experience designing and implementing cost-effective currency management strategies with a goal to reduce uncompensated risk. Currencies may also present opportunities to enhance the return of a client's total portfolio.

The Russell Investments advantage

As a global leader in the provision of currency management strategies, we have experience meeting the needs of sophisticated institutional clients globally. With nearly £50 billion in assets in currency strategies¹, we offer a full suite of currency management solutions including passive, dynamic and absolute return currency strategies.

In addition, we offer a unique pure-agency currency execution service designed to reduce currency execution costs, improve transparency and reduce operational burden for clients.

Russell Investments was named the winner of the “Currency Manager of the Year” at the 2019 European Pensions Awards.

Offering a broad suite of currency solutions

Passive currency hedging

Currency hedging can reduce or eliminate the foreign exchange volatility from holding international assets. An investor would hedge by selling foreign currencies that are implicitly included in an international portfolio and buying the domestic currency.

Dynamic currency strategy

While our passive currency strategy is exclusively focused on reducing the risk associated with exposure to non-base currency, our dynamic currency strategy supports the dual investor goals of risk reduction and return enhancement. Our dynamic currency strategy goes a long way to solving the conundrum of what, when and how much currency exposure to hedge.

Absolute return currency strategy

Academic research suggests that currency factors strategies can offer meaningful and relatively uncorrelated return sources.

A trading approach which supports best execution and fiduciary alignment

Agency FX trading

Unlike a principal trading provider, Russell Investments does not have a proprietary trading book. Our currency management strategies are supported by an Agency Foreign Exchange (FX) trading approach, where liquidity providers compete for our order flow and we pass execution benefits directly to you, including savings related to reduced bid/ask spreads, market impact and custodian charges.

Acting on your behalf, we:

  • Reduce costs by netting your transactions and trading as an agent
  • Improve transparency by time stamping every transaction and showing the cost of execution
  • Align our interests with yours by acting as a fiduciary
  • Manage counterparty risk by trading with over 20 banks

In addition, you can take advantage of our foreign currency trading services whether you handle currency needs internally or delegate them to your investment managers. Employing an agent who is also a fiduciary has become more important as courts and regulators have become less patient with those who don’t manage all their costs - including costs to trade foreign exchange - effectively. Investors can help manage these legal and regulatory risks by delegating responsibility to a currency trading agent who is also a fiduciary.

Russell Investments was also an early signatory of the FX Global Code which is a set of global principles of good practice designed to promote integrity and the effective functioning of the wholesale foreign exchange market.

Together or individually, these currency strategies are designed to lower transaction costs, improve portfolio risk-return profile and reduce the operational burden of managing FX.

Significant global scale and resources, available as an extension of your team1


Investment professionals
located globally

35 years

Experience in
implementation services

100+ markets

Ability to

1 Source: Russell Investments. Data as at 31 December 2022.

Currency Matters

As the allocation to non-domestic assets increases, currency hedging is becoming increasingly important. Find out more about the mechanics of a currency hedging programme and how short-term differences can occur in the benchmark-relative returns of hedged and unhedged share classes of the same fund.

Read now

Any opinion expressed is that of Russell Investments, is not a statement of fact, is subject to change and does not constitute investment advice.

The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. You may not get back the amount originally invested.

Past performance does not predict future returns.

For questions, contact Maarten:

Maarten Roeleveld 

+31 20 567 4316

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