Russell Taps Michelle Seitz as CEO

The former head of William Blair Investment Management has been in the business for three decades

Russell Investments CEO Michelle Seitz Russell Investments CEO Michelle Seitz

Asset manager Russell Investments has appointed Michelle Seitz as its new CEO. Seitz most recently was head of William Blair Investment Management.

Seattle-based Russell, which has over $277 billion in assets under management, says its new executive will “lead the next growth phase of the global multi-asset firm.”

Seitz, a 22-year veteran at William Blair, also was named a board director for Russell Investments. She will take over as chairman of the board on Jan. 1, 2018, when current Chairman Len Brennan is set to become a strategic advisor.

“We are excited to welcome Michelle as Russell Investments’ new CEO, and believe that her forward-looking leadership will help propel the firm into a new phase of evolution and growth that will benefit clients and associates alike,” said Todd R. Crockett, managing director of TA Associates, in a statement.

TA Associates and Reverence Capital Partners acquired Russell Investments in 2016.

“We thank Len for his numerous contributions to Russell Investments over the course of more than two decades serving the firm’s clients,” explained Milton R. Berlinski, managing partner, Reverence Capital Partners, in a statement.

“Under Len’s leadership for the past six years, the firm has built on its legacy of asset management innovation to offer industry-leading multi-asset solutions and recognized [outsourced chief compliance officer] capabilities that position Russell Investments for the future to address the exacting demands of investors globally,” Berlinski added.

Career Path

Seitz, CFA, was head of William Blair Investment Management for the past 16 years. She also served on the seven-person executive committee of Blair, which has some 1,400 employees.

During her tenure, WBIM’s institutional business grew from $2.3 billion in AUM to $65 billion in AUM. Her previous experience also includes senior portfolio management roles with WBIM (1996-2009), Concord Investment Co. (1992-1996) and NationsBank (1987-1992), according to her LinkedIn profile.

In addition, Seitz has held several leadership roles with the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), responsible for the oversight, administration and finances of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). 

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