Founded in 1936, Russell Investments is an investment solutions firm providing investment capabilities to institutional investors, financial intermediaries and individual investors. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Russell Investments has offices in 19 cities around the world, including in New York, London, Toronto, Tokyo and Shanghai. As of June 30, 2022, the firm had USD 299.2 billion in assets under management.
Russell Investments has an engagement policy regarding its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics, including a clear framework with success criteria and escalation points in the event that engagement with investees is unsuccessful. The investment consultant describes how the engagement policy is applied in practice and cites case studies where it has engaged both successfully and unsuccessfully with investees on sustainability themes and impact topics.Russell Investments discloses a list of trade associations of which it is a member including sustainability- and non-sustainability-related organisations.
As a member of Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, Russell Investments has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. It is also a member of Climate Action 100+, collectively engaging with its investees on the topic of climate change. Furthermore, it discloses nature- and biodiversity-related impacts as one of its engagement topics with investees.
Russell Investments has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers to raise human rights complaints or concerns. The financial institution also discloses the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by gender.
In terms of its approach to senior leadership accountability, while the global responsible investing steering group reports to the executive committee, Russell Investments could assign responsibility for sustainability to the group’s board of directors. Moreover, it could link the remuneration of its executive andmanagement teams to sustainability performance criteria. In addition, no evidence was found that the financial institution commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment. It has an opportunity to disclose the proportion of women on the board of directors and in senior leadership roles as well as how it addresses any gender pay gaps.
Russell Investments could disclose interim emissions reduction targets at the group level, such as a 45% reduction in financed emissions by 2030.It has an opportunity to disclose the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change, specifically on the alignment with the Paris Agreement. Although the financial institution discloses that it invested USD 2 billion to low carbon and climate resilient investments, it could clarify what climate solutions these investments are funding. Regarding nature and biodiversity, no evidence was found that the financial institution is committed to minimising its negative impacts or financing regenerative solutions.
There is no evidence that Russell Investments has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights. It has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its investment activities. Furthermore, next to disclosing the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by gender, it has an opportunity to do the same by age group or another indicator of diversity. To provide transparency on financial inclusivity, the investment consultantcould disclose the amount of investment directed towards low-income developing countries.