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London Stock Exchange in exclusive talks to buy Russell Investments

The London Stock Exchange Group is in exclusive discussions with Russell Investments over a deal to buy the index compiler and asset manager.

Russell Investments acquired the On-line Partnership Group, the parent company of In-Partnership and Whitechurch, in November for an undisclosed sum. Russell Investments has over £152bn in assets
under management and the combined adviser group comprises 600 advisers, two-thirds of whom are
investment advisers. 

In a statement, LSE says: “Discussions remain ongoing and there can be no certainty that a transaction will be forthcoming. A further ann-ouncement will be made in due course as appropriate.”

US firm Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance announced in January it was exploring avenues to sell its majority stake in Russell. It bought the firm in 1999 for over $1bn (£593m).

If LSE were to acquire Russell, this would herald its strongest push into the US indexing market, where the firm is known for its equity benchmarks such as the Russell 2000 small-cap index.

Numis Securities analyst James Hamilton says: “We do not see the strategic logic of buying the asset management business of Russell
and would need to be convinced.”

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