A hot pursuit for Russell Investments

A hot pursuit for Russell Investments

A hot pursuit for Russell Investments By: Jeff Sanford

Well-known pension and investment management firm, Russell Investments, hotly pursued by a group of suitors including CIBC, seems to be hooking up with the London Stock Exchange. 
 
Russell produces well-known indices that are widely used in the asset management industry. This week, the London Stock Exchange announced it was in talks to acquire the bank. The news comes only weeks after CIBC announced it was in the final running to purchase Russell and seems to thwart the banks wealth management plans.  
 
"For CIBC, an acquisition of Russell Investments would boost its asset management business and global presence...like many of its Canadian peers, [CIBC] has stated that it plans to actively build scale in its asset management business via acquisitions," said a mid-April Reuters report.
 
An acquisition of Russell would have been one of the biggest purchases by CIBC. The deal was hotly anticipated. Acquiring Russell would have helped CIBC achieve the banks stated goal of deriving 15 per cent of earnings from wealth management. Such a deal would have immediately made CIBC a major player in the index and pension investment game.
 
In mid-April CIBC was reportedly up against private equity heavy-weights like CVC Capital Partners, Silver Lake, Warburg Pincus and TPG Capital in the race for Russell. But the prize seems to go to the London Stock Exchange Group, which announced Tuesday it is in talks to acquire Seattle-based Russell.
 
The race for Russell comes in the wake of an odd death at the firm. The company's chief economist, Mike Dueker, was found dead at the side of a highway in Washington state this past winter in what was apparently a suicide. Dueker was a serious name in economics. Previously an assistant vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Dueker was ranked by the bank as among the top five percent of economists by number of works published.  

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