US/EUROPE – Frank Russell has appointed Boston based MFS Institutional Advisors and New Jersey firm Systematic to manage large cap value briefs worth $1.25bn (1.4bn) and $200m respectively within its multi-manager portfolio range.

The managers replace incumbent Equinox Capital Management.

MFS will manage assets for Russell’s multi-manager portfolios based in the US, Ireland, Canada and the Cayman Islands and aimed principally at investors in the UK, South Africa and Singapore.
The MFS Fund will be benchmarked against the Russell1000 index, although the manager has a remit to invest up to 2.5% of assets in the Russell3000 index, where Russell says MFS has particular expertise.

Damien Barry, a portfolio manager at Russell in London, says MFS has a broad cap investment approach suitable to the Russell1000 index, adding: “ We have very high opinion of the processes and the people in this particular product.”

Systematic, who already manage a portion of Russell’s small cap portfolios, will run its $200m US large cap equity brief for Russell’s MFMM product, which is broadly aimed at Continental European clients.
The fund will be benchmarked against the S&P500 index.
“ As value managers go they are one of the more interesting players and don’t look purely at companies which may look cheap but also at earnings sustainability,” says Barry.

He adds: “ Both companies are likely to do well with companies that are statistically cheap but with strong or sustainable earnings positions. In a weakening environment we expect both managers to do well.”