Northwestern Mutual completes $2.7 billion sale of Russell Investments

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. has completed the sale of subsidiary Frank Russell Co., also known as Russell Investments, to the London Stock Exchange Group plc for $2.7 billion.

The pending sale was announced in July. The sale closed today, and proceeds will be used to improve Northwestern Mutual’s 2014 financial results.

Russell is an investment services firm serving a global market of large, institutional investors. It 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 Frank Russell in 1999 for $1.2 billion.

“Russell has been a good investment for us,” said John Schlifske, chairman and chief executive officer of Northwestern Mutual. “Russell’s operating results have made significant contributions to our financial results over the years. When you look at this sale price and the income produced for us since we bought Russell in 1999, you get a rate of return well in excess of equity indices over that period.”

Northwestern Mutual manages more than $184 million in invested assets as part of its general account investment portfolio, which backs its insurance and annuity products.

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