Russell Launches 2 New Funds, Revamps 2 Others

Aug 15 2012 | 1:04pm ET

Seattle-based Russell Investments is launching two new hedge fund like-mutual funds and revamping two others.

The new offerings are the Russell Multi-Strategy Alternative Fund and the Russell U.S. Strategic Fund. The multi-strat will employ four strategies (relative value, event driven, equity hedge and tactical trading) which Russell characterizes as “not typically available to retail mutual fund investors.” Managers tapped by the fund include Acorn Derivatives Management (relative value), First Eagle Investment Management (event driven), Lazard Asset Management (equity hedge) and 2100 Xenon Group (tactical trading). The fund is benchmarked to the Barclays U.S. 1-3 Month Treasury Bill Index.

The Russell U.S. Strategic Equity Fund is an open-ended mutual fund employing a multi-asset approach to U.S. large and mid-cap companies. It will initially feature 10 manager assignments, representing five investment styles—defensive, dynamic, growth, value and market-oriented—and multiple sub-styles. Managers selected include Lazard, Institutional Capital and Jacobs Levy Equity Management. The fund is benchmarked to the Russell 1000.

The firm has also updated the US equity allocations of a number of portfolios, including changing the investment strategies, names and benchmarks of the Russell U.S. Growth Fund and the Russell U.S. Quantitative Equity Fund “to incorporate insights based on the Russell Stability Indexes style-based benchmarks.”

The $2.8 billion Russell U.S. Quantitative Equity Fund was renamed the Russell U.S. Defensive Equity Fund and instead of employing a limited long/short equity strategy, will shft to a “defensive” strategy, focusing on stocks exhibiting below-average volatility. The fund will be benchmarked to the Russell 1000 Defensive Index.

The $60 million Russell U.S. Growth Fund has been rechristened the Russell U.S. Dynamic Equity Fund with a “dynamic” strategy that may include long/short investing.

“With the global economy continuing to dramatically evolve, we believe there’s an ongoing need to identify and capitalize on market shifts both in terms of evaluating the increasing number of investment strategies available and in assessing the opportunities that can arise in volatile markets” said Phill Rogerson, managing director of consulting and product development for Russell’s U.S. advisor-sold business. “The current market environment provides us with an opening to think differently about managing risks and to seek to be more agile in responding to opportunities.”

Russell has about $152 billion in assets under management (as of June 30, 2012).


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