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Rating:Russell Chair Follows CEO Out the Door Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Russell Chair Follows CEO Out the Door

Reported by Erin Kello

The chairman of Russell Investments is retiring. Mike Phillips plans to retire in December from a company that he has been with for nearly 30 years.

Phillips plans to continue on as the chairman of Russell 20-20, a non-profit association of 20 large retirement plan sponsors and 20 major money managers that explores the economic and investment environments in emerging markets around the world.

In June the CEO, 25-year Russell veteran Craig Ueland, departed (see MFWire June 10, 2008). John Schlifske, executive vice president at Russell parent Northwestern Mutual, has been filling the role on an interim basis.

Phillips had reportedly butted heads with Ueland over plans to move the company's headquarters from Tacoma to Seattle. At the time Russell also retained the services of the Boston Consulting Group to take it in a new strategic direction.

Company Press Release

TACOMA, Wash., Oct 08, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Russell Investments announced that Mike Phillips will retire in December from his role as chairman of Russell, following his nearly 30 years of leadership and service to the company. Phillips plans to continue in his role as chairman of Russell 20-20, a non-profit association of 20 large retirement plan sponsors and 20 major money managers that explores the economic and investment environments in emerging markets around the world. He also plans to continue working closely with Russell by establishing an investment advisory firm in Geneva, Switzerland, which will offer clients Russell investment products.

"I feel fortunate to have had the chance to play a variety of roles in helping Russell become the global financial leader it is today," said Phillips. "When I joined the firm in 1981, we had only just started to manage assets. Today we manage nearly $200 billion for clients, and are recognized globally for our investment management preeminence and industry thought leadership. I have planned this transition since I became chairman in 2003, and I will leave feeling both proud of what we have accomplished and confident that Russell stands strong and is poised for continued success." Over the course of Phillips' tenure with Russell, the company has achieved extraordinary growth. In 1981, Russell had approximately 190 associates. Today, the company has more than 2,000 associates in more than 20 offices worldwide.

"Mike has been a driving force behind Russell's dramatic growth and success over the past three decades, and he truly embodies what it means to be part of the Russell team," said John Schlifske, Russell's President and CEO. "Mike's legacy will be long-felt among Russell's associates and clients, and we are excited that he intends to continue to be involved with the company in a meaningful way going forward."

Phillips joined Russell's London office in 1981 and has played key leadership roles throughout the organization, including serving as the company's President and CEO from 1993 to 2003. He was responsible for significant developments in Russell's information capabilities and investment technologies, and was a driving force in positioning the company for extraordinary global growth, including the expansion of Russell's business into Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan.

About Russell

Russell Investments is a global investment company with about $200 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2008. Russell serves individual, institutional and advisor clients in more than 40 countries and provides investment solutions including mutual funds, retirement investments, institutional asset management, implementation services and global stock market indexes. Russell is world-renowned for its depth of manager research, quality of manager selection and access to some of the world's leading investment managers. It helps investors of all sizes put this access to work in corporate defined benefit and defined contribution plans, and in the life savings of individual investors. With approximately 2,200 associates in more than 20 offices around the world, Russell provides financial services in the world's major financial centers. Founded in 1936, Russell is a subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and is headquartered in Tacoma, Wash., U.S. Russell operates principal offices in Amsterdam, Auckland, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto. Russell Investments, a Washington, USA corporation, operates through subsidiaries worldwide. SOURCE: Russell Investments

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