Russell Investments announced today that Zach Buchwald has been selected to serve as Chief Executive Officer and as Chairman of the firm’s board of directors.

Based in the firm’s global headquarters in Seattle, Buchwald will take the helm effective 1 May as Russell Investments’ eighth CEO in 87 years. He will succeed Michelle Seitz, who departed the firm late last year.

As CEO, Buchwald will drive Russell Investments’ continued growth and results at a time when the firm’s client-focused approach is directly aligned with the intensifying need for outcome-oriented solutions and when the global capital markets are demanding agile, risk-managed total portfolio management.

“We believe Zach is the ideal leader to further Russell Investments’ legacy of innovation in asset management,” said Todd R. Crockett, a managing director at TA, which, along with Reverence Capital Partners, acquired Russell Investments in 2016. “We are excited to welcome Zach and fully expect his leadership, along with President and Chief Investment Officer Kate El-Hillow and others on the leadership team, will help propel the firm through the next phase of growth, with a focus on delivering a superior client experience.”

“I am deeply honored to join Russell Investments,” said Zach Buchwald, former managing director at BlackRock, Inc. “I’ve long admired Russell Investments’ unique legacy as a pioneer in investment consulting, OCIO, portfolio implementation, and much more. Today’s Russell is differentiated by its commitment to a total portfolio approach, which is critical in our inter-connected investment universe. I am excited to work with this innovative team to help clients achieve their investment goals with the best possible toolkit.”

Buchwald joins Russell Investments from BlackRock where, as the head of its institutional business in North America, he was responsible for delivering BlackRock’s investment capabilities to the firm’s institutional clients. Prior to this role, he led BlackRock’s Financial Institutions Group and earlier he helped establish its Retirement Solutions and Financial Markets Advisory platforms. Buchwald has focused much of his career on improving financial security for retirees, which is also central to Russell Investments’ stated mission.

At BlackRock, he also served on the firm’s Global Operating Committee, the US/Canada Executive Committee and as sponsor of its LGBT employee network.

Prior to joining BlackRock in 2008, Buchwald served as a managing director at Morgan Stanley, where he held positions of increasing responsibility within the firm’s fixed income division, with leadership responsibility for the bank’s collateralised loan obligation (CLO) platform by the end of his tenure.

“This is great news for Russell Investments’ clients. I look forward to working with Zach, especially benefiting from his stellar record of innovating client solutions to deliver on their desired investment outcomes,” said Kate El-Hillow, president and chief investment officer at Russell Investments. “Zach is expertly prepared to further the firm’s innovation success – from cutting-edge asset allocation and unparalleled money manager insights to some of the earliest forays into factor exposures and a competitively recognised implementation capability – to address the exacting demands of investors globally.”

Milton R. Berlinski, managing partner at Reverence Capital Partners, added, “Our extensive search process produced a CEO with proven leadership skills and deep industry experience who fully values Russell Investments’ mission of improving people’s financial security. Together with the firm’s leadership team, we are confident Zach will successfully further the firm’s client-centric focus and momentum from day one.”

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