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Rating:You Should Buy Russell's Fund Biz, and Pay This Much for It Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, June 26, 2014

You Should Buy Russell's Fund Biz, and Pay This Much for It

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

It's a big day for Russell Investments. They just got purchased by the London Stock Exchange for $2.7 billion, and they get to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq.

Maybe you can turn this big deal into an opportunity for your fund firm.

First, I draw your attention to this statement issued by the LSE about the acquisition, in particular, how it applies to Russell's investment management business.
LSEG will undertake a comprehensive review of Russellís investment management business to determine its positioning and fit with the Group
That sounds like a buying opportunity.

What should you buy, and how much you should pay for it?

Well, the whole investment management arm has been pegged at about $260 billion AUM.

But who says you can't buy pieces of that business, say the firm's long term mutual fund business, which has roughly $38 billion AUM, and/or the firm's TDF business, which has roughly $9 billion in AUM.

What should you pay for these properties? The mutual fund lineup includes seven U.S. equity funds with flavors such as core, defensive, dynamic, small, mid, large, strategic; three international and global equity funds (international, global and emerging); five alts (commodity, global infrastructure; global real estate securities; multi-strategy alternative; strategic call overwriting); five fixed income funds (global opportunistic credit; strategic bond; investment grade bond; short duration, and tax exempt); two tax-managed equity funds (large and small cap).

There is also one cash management and one cash collateral fund. We didn't count these in the lineup for long-term mutual funds for this discussion.

Russell's target date lineup, the LifePoints Funds, come in five flavors: conservative, moderate, balance, growth and equity growth.

How much should you pay for these funds? Consider this other point: nearly 4 percent of the funds received a single star from Morningstar; roughly 33 percent got two stars; slightly more than 49 percent got three stars, and some 14 percent got four stars.

Maybe this would justify one percent of AUM? So, going by that gauge, maybe just under $400 million for the long-term mutual funds, some $90 million for the target-date funds -- or just under $500 million for the whole shebang. 

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