Understanding The Defining Issues Of Our Times

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Michelle Seitz
Chairman and CEO
Russell Investments

Michelle Seitz is Chairman and CEO of Russell investments, a global investment solutions firm with $300 billion in AUM and $2.5 trillion under advisement for clients in 32 countries. The firm is the 5th largest advisor in the world.

Michelle was recruited to Russell Investments in 2017 to transform the firm in terms of growth and corporate culture. Over the next three years, she restructured the executive team, elevated diversity and inclusion efforts, and revamped client offerings emphasizing ESG and personalized outcomes. Meanwhile, Michelle focused the firm around its core purpose “to improve people’s financial security.” Key measures such as client satisfaction and retention, employee satisfaction, profits and AUM sales – a record $88 billion – have all increased under her leadership.

In 2020, Barron’s recognized Michelle as one of “The Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance,” and American Banker has listed her as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Finance.” She was awarded an ‘Alumni Fellow’ by Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in 2017.

Before joining Russell, Michelle spent 22 years at William Blair, where she served 16 years on the firm’s board and as CEO of William Blair Investment Management (WBIM). Taking the CEO role at age 35, Michelle led William Blair’s institutional, mutual fund, and private wealth management businesses. By championing continuous innovation, she drove a five-fold growth at WBIM, transforming the business from its regional high-net-worth roots into a $74 billion global asset Management firm and prestigious 5-time winner of the “Best Places to Work in Money Management.” She cultivated a culture of client-centric excellence, values based leadership, and employee engagement.

A frequent keynote speaker, Michelle shares her expertise on financial security, leadership, inclusive capitalism, diversity and inclusion, and innovation. She is a member of Challenge Seattle, an alliance of 18 CEOs of the region’s largest employers. She is on the board of the Washington Roundtable and on the Dean’s Council at Indiana University Kelley School of Business, where she graduated in 1987 with a B.S. in Accounting. Seitz became a Chartered Financial Analyst in 1990. Michelle served as a past director on the FAF Board which oversees FASB and GASB.