Seattle, May 3, 2021 — Russell Investments, a leading outsourced CIO provider and global investment solutions firm, today announced that Kate El-Hillow has joined as Global Chief Investment Officer, and Kevin Klingert has been hired as President. El-Hillow, who held several senior investment leadership roles at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, brings vast expertise in portfolio management, trading, and outsourced CIO and multi-asset investment solutions. Klingert comes to Russell Investments with extensive industry experience, with an emphasis on managing global operations and distribution. He has held leadership roles at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and BlackRock. Both El-Hillow and Klingert will serve on Russell Investments’ executive committee and report to Chairman and CEO Michelle Seitz.
“Kate and Kevin join us at a critical time, as asset owners increasingly look to partner with solutions providers that deliver highly customized investment strategies tailored to specific outcomes,” said Seitz. “Although we continue to see significant demand for investment solutions, only one in four asset owners with less than $10 billion in assets have outsourced their investment activitiesi. Kate and Kevin will further enable Russell Investments to capture the industry’s growth while leveraging our expansive global franchise to provide a frictionless experience to our clients.”
El-Hillow will work closely with Seitz to build upon Russell Investments’ 85-year commitment to improving people’s financial security. She oversees all aspects of the firm’s investment division, including portfolio management, implementation, and research. During her 17 years at Goldman Sachs, El-Hillow worked in the firm’s New York and London offices in the $150 billion global Multi-Asset Solutions business. Most recently, she served as Deputy Chief Investment Officer and prior to that, she was a Senior Portfolio Manager for OCIO portfolios and Head of Portfolio Management and Trading. She has wide-ranging experience in portfolio construction, dynamic multi-asset allocation, and risk management. El-Hillow previously spent eight years at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., where she held dual roles as Client Portfolio Manager and Chief Operating Officer in the asset allocation business.
“I am thrilled to lead this exceptional team,” El-Hillow said about her new role. “There are very few firms that offer Russell Investments’ one-stop access to end-to-end investment solutions, proprietary risk management tools, and trading and implementation capabilities. Clients today are grappling with more complex investment problems, and Russell Investments is uniquely positioned to provide holistic solutions that will help them achieve their goals.”
As Russell Investments’ new President, Klingert focuses on day-to-day business execution. He will work alongside Russell Investments seasoned leadership team, overseeing the firm’s sales and support functions. During 10 years at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, he held a variety of senior roles including COO, acting CIO of Fixed Income, and Head of Liquidity and Managed Futures. He developed and expanded Morgan Stanley’s global distribution efforts and led numerous technology and operations upgrades, including the firm’s risk and order management systems. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Klingert spent 15 years at BlackRock. In 1991, he launched BlackRock’s Tax-Exempt Fixed Income business. He also managed the firm’s cash management businesses, worked extensively on new client development, and served on the management committee.
“I’m excited to extend the trajectory of our growing franchise,” said Klingert. “This industry and our segment are both evolving quickly, and I believe we are one of the few firms with the sense of urgency and execution capability needed to continue to exceed client expectations.”
Chief Operating Officer Rick Smirl has accepted a position at another asset management firm. He departed at the end of April, and Klingert now oversees the firm’s operations functions.
Pete Gunning, Russell Investments’ CIO since 2018 and a 25-year veteran of the firm, will take on a new role as Vice Chairman and Strategic Relationships Officer. Reporting directly to Seitz, Gunning is focused on deepening the firm’s relationships with key clients while embracing responsible investing practices. Gunning will also work to ensure that Russell Investments’ global client base can seamlessly leverage the firm’s exceptional open-architecture investment solutions.
According to Seitz, Russell Investments will continue to focus on enhancing its strength in open-architecture investment solutions, as evidenced by the recently announced partnership with private markets investment firm, Hamilton Lane.
“We have seen tremendous demand from institutional investors and wealth managers for customized investment solutions that incorporate public and private markets allocations, innovative new approaches to best-in-class investment and risk solutions, and, increasingly, responsible investment strategies,” said Seitz. “Kate, Kevin, and Pete have decades of experience working directly with the world’s largest and most sophisticated investors, and they will play instrumental roles in helping us amplify and extend our full range of investment solutions and services to a wider range of clients.”
Russell Investments is a leading global investment solutions firm with $326.9 billion in assets under management (as of 3/31/2021) and $2.5 trillion in assets under advisement (as of 6/30/2020) for clients in 32 countries, The firm provides a wide range of investment capabilities to institutional investors, financial intermediaries, and individual investors around the world. Building on an 85-year legacy of continuous innovation to deliver exceptional value to clients, Russell Investments works every day to improve people’s financial security. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Russell Investments has offices in 19 cities around the world, including in New York, London, Tokyo, and Shanghai.
i Source: McKinsey & Company and Cerulli (2020).