Russell Investments adds to alternatives team

Russell - which sold Pantheon six months ago - has hired City Capital Partners founder Stephan Breban to head its growing private equity advisory practice.

Russell Investments has hired Stephan Breban as director of private equity, based in the firm’s London office. He will be responsible for private equity advising for new and existing investors globally.

The appointment is part of the advisory and investment firm’s efforts to expand its global alternatives team, which include new hires for its hedge fund and operational due diligence functions. In total, the firm has made 12 dedicated alternatives hires this year in response to “increasing demands from institutional investors for alternative investing expertise, advice and solutions”. 

Prior to joining Russell, Breban founded City Capital Partners in London, a firm providing independent advice to private equity investors, where he was also a managing director. He previously was a partner at Towers Watson, formerly known as Watson Wyatt.

“We know that institutional investors expect to increase their alternative investment exposure in the coming years,” Russell Investments managing director Victor Leverett told PEO. “Russell is expanding its global alternatives team to support existing client investments as well as those clients who plan to initiate or expand their alternative investment programmes.” 

Stephan Breban

Leverett added that the many of the firm’s investor clients are largely focused on making distressed investments. “While the pricing may be favorable across many of these distressed investments, we are encouraging our clients to examine and understand each underlying position, especially with an eye out for heavy debt burdens that could damage or erase equity,” Leverett said.

Russell Investments provides investment advice and implementation to institutional investors, financial advisors and individuals in more than 40 countries. Earlier this year, it sold its stake in fund of funds Pantheon Ventures to Affiliated Managers Group (AMG), a New York-listed asset management business. 

Russell's clients include pensions, nonprofits and public and sovereign wealth funds. Founded in 1936, the firm began a strategic pension fund consulting business in 1969. As of 30 June 2010, Russell Investments had $140 billion in assets under management.