Russell Investments appoints Chief Operating Officer

Rick Smirl will help drive innovation and operational efficiency across the firm

SEATTLE, July 19, 2018 — Global asset manager Russell Investments today announced that Rick Smirl will join the firm in a new position as Chief Operating Officer, effective July 30, 2018. Smirl has more than 25 years of industry experience, leading both operations and legal functions at several investment management firms. He will oversee Russell Investments’ operations, technology, legal, compliance, risk management, internal audit and government and community relations teams and will report directly to Chairman and CEO Michelle Seitz.

“Rick is an extremely talented senior executive with deep expertise in internal operations and a strategic understanding of both the investment and sales process,” said Seitz. “I am thrilled he is joining Russell Investments and I am confident he will have a positive impact on our firm as we enter our next phase of growth.” 

Russell Investments has 21 offices around the world with almost $2.5 trillion in annual assets traded and 1,800 clients. Smirl will work across the organization to ensure that the firm continues to leverage its intellectual property globally on behalf of the firm’s clients. According to Smirl, Russell Investments has an enviable position in the industry.

“With its world class investment expertise, broad investment capabilities, and unparalleled asset manager insights, Russell Investments is uniquely situated to provide clients with comprehensive multi-asset solutions,” said Smirl.

Smirl joins Russell Investments from the State of Wisconsin Investment Board where he served as Executive Director, leading the investments, finance, legal, human resources, operations, technology and strategic planning functions. Prior to that, Smirl spent almost 14 years at William Blair Investment Management, where he served as Chief Operating Officer for about 10 years and earlier as Chief Legal Officer. While at William Blair, Smirl led the development and implementation of state-of-the-art portfolio management and accounting platforms, as well as performance attribution and customer relationship management systems. Prior to William Blair, Smirl was Chief Legal Officer at Strong Capital Management. He also was a partner at the law firm of Los Angeles-based Keesal, Young & Logan, where he counseled financial services firms.

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 $296 billion in assets under management (as of 12/31/2017).

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 or follow @Russell_Invest.

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