Russell says its multi-manager assets top $100bn

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GLOBAL – Multi-management specialist Russell says it has surpassed 100 billion dollars (80.4 billion euros) in assets under management – and that European institutions are buying into its hedge fund programme.

It said its assets have grown 41% since the start of 2003 “due to both a strong flow of new clients in all the company’s major markets and also the recovery of equity markets around the world”.

Russell launched its first multi-manager funds in 1980 and reached one billion dollars under management in 1982. It attained 10 billion dollars under management nine years later. Last year saw assets rise to 95 billion dollars from 67 billion dollars.

The figures do not include assets gained from the pending acquisition of private equity fund-of-funds group Pantheon, which is expected in the next few weeks. Pantheon will add around seven billion dollars to Russell.

Russell also said it added one billion dollars in assets to its hedge fund programme in 2003, taking its total assets in its multi-manager hedge fund investment programme to more than two billion dollars.

“The new investors are predominantly European institutions, but also include clients from Japan, the USA and Australia,” said the Tacoma, Washington-based firm.

“Take-up by European institutional investors has been steadily rising and we expect that to continue gathering momentum throughout 2004," said Jon Bailie, Russell’s managing director of institutional investment services.

“As trustees and advisors become more comfortable with alternative investment strategies and can judge the performance of programmes, such as Russell’s, they are willing to embrace this investment approach.”

Russell is owned by US insurer Northwestern Mutual.

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