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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Seitz Brings Two Senior Leaders to Russell

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Two senior leaders are joining a $326.9-billion-AUM (as March 31) asset manager, a third is on the rise there, and a fourth is moving on to a $168.9-billion-AUM firm.

Kate El-Hillow
Russell Investments
Global Chief Investment Officer
On Monday, Michelle Seitz, chair and CEO of Russell Investments [profile], confirmed that Kate El-Hillow and Kevin Klingert have joined the Seattle-based firm's executive committee, El-Hillow as global chief investment officer and Klingert as president. Both now report to Seitz.

El-Hillow succeeds Pete Gunning, who has served as Russell's global CIO and Asia Pacific CEO. Gunning, Seitz confirms, has been promoted to vice chairman and strategic relationships officer.

Meanwhile, the hiring of Klingert (who will oversee "day-to-day business execution," including the firm's "operations functions," according to a statement from the Russell folks) comes after the departure at the end of April of chief operating officer Rick Smirl. Smirl joined Hartford, Connecticut-based Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. as executive vice president and COO. (Like Russell, Virtus is a big subadvised mutual fund firm.) Smirl, in turn, succeeds EVP Frank Waltman, who retirend from Virtus at the end of March.

At Russell, El-Hillow lauds the firm's "exceptional team" and its "one-stope access to end-to-end investment solutions, proprietary risk management tools, and trading and implementation capabilities." Klingert, for his part, calls Russell "one of the few firms with the sense of urgency and execution capability needed to continue to exceed client expectations."

Prior to joining Russell, El-Hillow most recently served as managing director and deputy CIO of multi-asset solutions at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Earlier, she worked at J.P. Morgan Chase. She is an alumna of Boston College's Carroll School of Management.

Klingert most recently served as an independent trustee to J.P. Morgan's Six Circles Funds. Prior to that, he worked at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, BlackRock, and Merrill Lynch. He is an alumnus of NYU's Stern School of Business.

Gunning has worked at Russell in a variety of roles since 1996. Prior to that, he worked with Commonwealth Bank and Tullett Prebon. He is an alumnus of the University of Sydney.

Smirl joined Russell in 2018 after briefly leading the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Prior to that, he worked at William Blair Investment Management, Strong Capital Management, and Keesal Young & Logan. He is an alumnus of Loyola Law School and of UC Irvine. 

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