A number of investment consulting firms have expanded their consultant teams over recent months. Russell Investment Group has been one of the more active firms when it comes to expansion. It has grown its global alternatives team with a number of key appointments since early October 2010. The most recent appointment is that of Darren Spencer, who is now a director of alternatives, in its Americas Institutional Group. Mr. Spencer, who is based in Russell's New York office, will be responsible for directing the development and implementation of alternative investment strategies for Russell's consulting clients in North America.
Russell now has regional consulting alternative directors in the Americas, EMEA, Australasia and Japan/Northeast Asia. Over the course of a multi-year hiring effort, Russell will continue to bolster its resources and capabilities across the full range of alternative investments, including hedge funds, private equity, and real estate. This is part of Russell’s dedicated expansion in consulting and alternative investments, following its earlier appointments of Egidio Robertiello as managing director of alternative strategies, with a focus on hedge funds; Stephan Breban as director of private equity; and Samuel Baughn as director of operational due diligence. This brought the total number of dedicated alternatives hires that year to 12, as Russell worked to meet increasing demands from institutional investors.
Wurts & Associates has appointed Jason Taylor as a senior consultant. Mr. Taylor has previously held the position of CIO of the wealth management firm Threshold Group. He will be working from the firm’s Seattle office. Wurts plans to make a number of appointments over the course of 2011, as a result of its expanding list of clientele. Wurts & Associates provides consulting services on both traditional and alternative investments.
In late 2010, Portfolio Advisors added Keenan Skelly to its team of analysts. Portfolio Advisors provides investment services focusing on the private equity and real estate sectors, and also operates funds of funds in those asset classes. Skelly will focus mainly on private equity.
New York-based Towers Watson appointed Chris Ford as head of investment for Europe, Middle East and Africa following the departure of Paul Trickett in October 2010. Mr. Ford has been with the firm since 1990. In a similar story, New England Pension Consultants (NEPC) has promoted one of its consultants, Kevin Leonard, to the position of partner. Mr. Leonard is currently the lead consultant for a number of key NEPC clients. NEPC is an employee-owned investment consulting firm, with over 250 clients, providing full service, discretionary and non-discretionary investment consulting advice.
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