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Russell Investments is looking for a buyer

Source: Dealogic; Note: 2019 represents year-to-date figure; Chart: Axios Visuals

Russell Investments, the Seattle-based asset manager, is on the auction block per the Financial Times.

Why it matters: The interest to sell "follows several bruising years for the [fund management] industry, with profits at some of the biggest fund houses squeezed by the rise of passive investing."

  • It's unclear how much Russell Investment's owner, private equity firm TA Associates, is seeking for the asset manager, the FT notes.
  • Russell Investments was last valued at $1.15 billion when TA Associates bought it in 2016.

The big picture: Fund management has seen a surge of M&A activity in the last few years.

  • "Merging with another firm to gain assets, lift out a star investment team, or buy a specialized manager has long been touted as one way for asset managers to survive falling fees and margins and compensate for a lack of organic growth," as Institutional Investor's Julie Segal noted.

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