NML sells Russell Investments for $2.7 billion

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. Inc. has sold its Russell Investments subsidiary to the London Stock Exchange Group plc for $2.7 billion.

The sale, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals, will close later this year.

Russell is an investment services firm serving a global market of large, institutional investors that has about $260 billion in assets, 1,800 employees and 21 offices nationwide, including an office in downtown Milwaukee. It provides pension consulting, investment management, transition management services and indices such as the Russell 1000 Global Index.

The insurance company purchased Russell Investments, then known as Frank Russell Co., in 1999 for $1.2 billion.

Northwestern Mutual said in January that because Russell is currently going through significant growth and development, it was weighing its options. A sale could generate “attractive returns” for policy owners, the company said.

“The proceeds from the sale will cap off what has proven to be a good investment for Northwestern Mutual,” said John Schlifske, chairman and chief executive officer of Northwestern Mutual. “When you look at the income it produced over all that time and this sale price you see a great example of how we build value for policyowners of our mutual company.”

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as Northwestern Mutual’s financial advisors in the transaction.

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