Altius loses former Europe head Russell

Michael Russell, a former PCG executive who joined Altius in 2007, has left to pursue other opportunities in the industry.

Michael Russell, a senior partner who led client management at consultant Altius Associates, has left the firm to pursue other potential roles in the industry.

Altius, which moved Russell to the client management role from leading the firm’s European focus, will promote from within to fill the vacancy left by Russell, chief investment officer of Altius John Hess told Private Equity International Thursday.

Russell joined Altius in 2007 after leaving rival consultant Pacific Corporate Group in a wave of departures that include Monte Brem, Tara Blackburn and Stephen Moseley. Russell joined PCG in 1996, ending his 10-year career at the Chris Bower-led firm as the head of European investments.

Russell described his leaving Altius “not a move away from the firm … it’s more of a move into a clear and open field”. Russell wanted to do something different in the industry and needed some time and space to help assess where that opportunity may lie.

“One needs space and time and the ability to talk to a range of people in a transparent way, and so that’s what I’ve decided to do,” he said.

Altius has won some mandates recently, including becoming the Kentucky Retirement System’s private equity advisor late last year. The firm also is working with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a US government development finance institution, which last year issued a $400 million call for proposals from private equity funds specialising in equity, debt, mezzanine, fund of funds and hybrid fund strategies in emerging markets.