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May 30, 2011
Russell launches new 'future-proofing' consulting service for industry funds
- Michael Clarke appointed as managing director, industry and government super
- New consulting service made up of 15-strong team of Russell experts
SYDNEY, May 30, 2011 - Global investment solutions firm Russell Investments has further expanded its menu of innovative solutions for industry and government funds launching a new consulting service designed to improve their competitive position.
The service, Russell Future Proofing Consulting (RFPC), offers dedicated advice and solutions to assist industry and government funds in retaining members while still maintaining their customer value proposition against a backdrop of regulatory change.
Russell already provides an extensive range of innovative solutions to over 20 Australian industry funds, with capabilities ranging from governance and investment consulting, after-tax investing advice, implementation services, access to alternative investments and Russell's Total Fund Evaluator* tool.
Chris Corneil, Russell's CEO for Australasia, said RFPC was Russell's response to an increased demand from industry and government funds for a more diverse range of solutions to help tackle legislative pressures.
"Even before the outcome of 'Stronger Super' is known, the knock-on effect of the Cooper Review has left funds grappling with a range of challenges such as strengthening their governance practices, satisfying MySuper requirements and developing retirement solutions for members.
"Funds are also demanding more diverse services such as better access to alternatives, after-tax investing solutions, more efficient implementation methods and more tailored index solutions. We are committed to help funds address these concerns so they can focus on continuing to support their members," Mr Corneil said.
According to Russell, the prospect of fund scale requirements implied by the Cooper Review and 'Stronger Super' has left some funds feeling mergers are the only answer to their longer term survival.
"RFPC offers funds an alternative solution where, for example, the existing fund stays in place, however fixed costs to the fund are outsourced, and other areas such as product development and member services can be tailored for members in a more cost effective way," Mr Corneil said.
Russell appoints industry specialist to drive further growth
Russell also today announced the appointment of Michael Clarke as managing director, industry and government funds. Mr Clarke will be responsible for the specific needs of Russell's industry and government fund clients. He will lead a 15-strong team of experts drawn from across Russell's broad range of capabilities to deliver and grow the RFPC service.
Mr Clarke has over 20 years' financial services experience in Australia and across the Asia region. He joins Russell from AMP Capital Investors, where he most recently held the position of executive vice president and director, international. Mr Clarke has also held senior leadership positions at Goldman Sachs JBWere Asset Management.
"I believe Russell's depth and quality of capabilities will continue to resonate with industry and government funds and I am committed to further deepening this reach to help overcome some of the complex challenges facing the sector.
"Russell's new future proofing consulting service will allow industry funds to achieve scale benefits, whilst also providing true innovation, longevity and market relevance," Mr Clarke said.
Russell offers a broad range of solutions in investment consulting, actuarial consulting, manager research and portfolio construction, alternatives, implementation services, administration and member services, ETFs and indexes.
"Russell's mission is to improve financial security for people and we believe this is consistent with our industry and government fund partners' focus on delivering the best outcomes for members. Michael's appointment will add depth to an already strong team of experts and we are confident his expertise will further strengthen our partnership with industry funds now and in the future," Mr Corneil concluded.
* Russell's Total Fund Evaluator is a comprehensive tool that allows a super fund to model future cash flows assets and membership based on member movements including investment choice decisions and market conditions. In addition to providing a key role in liquidity management, Russell's modeling tool allows a highly complex analysis ideally suited to providing much of the information needed by trustees to undertake a test of sufficient scale.