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The Time for Transitions

Traders Magazine, September 2004

Nina Mehta

Like many buyside traders these days, Jason Valdez has discretion over how he executes trades. He gets a list of buy and sell orders from a portfolio manager every morning, and then must figure out how to get best execution. But instead of trading for a traditional portfolio, Valdez works on a series of portfolios. Valdez is one of three traders in the transition management group at Frank Russell Securities, a subsidiary of Russell Investment Group, the consulting and financial services firm based in Tacoma, Washington. Valdez and his colleagues sometimes execute trades for the parent company's mutual funds. But they primarily work on transition events that Frank Russell Securities has been hired to manage. A plan sponsor, for instance, may hire Russell to transition a portfolio from one manager to another, or to realign a portfolio according to a new investment policy. Russell handled 530 transition events in 2003, transitioning $185 billion in assets. In the first six months of this year, the firm handled 339 transition events, which represented $93.3 billion.

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