Success By Ten: George Russell s Top Ten Elements to Building a Billion-Dollar Business
The father of pension fund management shares essential lessons to building a business
As the world's leading pension fund consultant, George Russell's advice has been sought by many of America's largest corporations. A pioneer in this business since the late 1960s, Russell has seen a lot. Now, he shares his experiences in this field with you, and provides valuable insights into what it takes to succeed in business today.
Broken down into ten chapters, Success by Ten describes significant moments in the origins and development of pension fund consulting and the institutional investment industry. This history is intertwined with Russell's own personal story and the innovations that his company introduced to the industry.
- Author George Russell is well known to many throughout the investment industry as the first pension fund consultant
- Each chapter represents a business lesson that Russell has learned during his career
- Outlines a people-centric approach to building a successful corporate culture
Taken together, the innovations outlined throughout these pages spurred the professionalization of pension fund management, with the potential benefit of improving financial security for everyone who is investing for retirement. In Success By Ten, Russell discusses the development of these innovations and reveals how you can apply them to build a better business.
Chapter 1 Non-Negotiable Integrity.
Reach for the Summit.
Our Business is Based on Trust.
Integrity is More Important than the Bottom Line.
Do the Right Thing.
Integrity Cannot Be Negotiable.
Chapter 2 Persistence, Patience, and Cold Calls.
Early Days at Frank Russell Company.
Building a Retail Sales Operation.
Harvard to the Rescue.
The Cold Call.
Paul Kaltinick’s Perspective.
A Unique Selling Proposition.
Evolving the Business Model.
Top 40 Hits: 1970–1974.
Minimal Debt; Reinvest.
Chapter 3 Hire People Smarter Than You Are.
The Need for Innovation in Pension Fund Management.
Peter Dietz and His Method of Performance Measurement.
Helane Grill, Madelyn Smith, and Joan Sobba—The Three Musketeers of Manager Research.
Creating a Universe.
A New Process for a New Industry.
Madelyn Smith Shows Her Style.
Russ Fogler—Pioneer of Asset Allocation.
Duncan Smith Asks the Tough Questions—and Answers Them.
Don Ezra Defines the Right Way to Be a Fiduciary.
The Best Investment I Ever Made.
Chapter 4 Be Creative.
The Treasurer’s Club: They’re Not Laughing Anymore.
Blake Eagle Puts Real Estate on the Map.
Our Battle to Exceed Client Expectations.
A Funny Thing Happened on May 1, 1980.
The Only Difference is the Zeros.
Making It Fly.
From Wall Street to Main Street.
Chapter 5 Work Hard.
Setting the Tone.
The 120 Percent People.
Work is Only a Means to an End.
Incentives that Worked.
Growth and Change.
Chapter 6 Share Credit.
Getting Rid of Titles.
Stars of the Investment Industry.
The A Team.
Our Biggest Mistake.
Plenty to Celebrate.
Chapter 7 Recognize Luck.
Are You a Decision Maker?
The Decision Factory.
Kelly Haughton Builds a Better Benchmark.
GM Starts with a Clean Slate.
Crossing the Threshold.
Testing the Concept.
How Much is Luck and How Much is Skill?
A Grammatical Postscript.
Chapter 8 Plan Transitions.
Hire and Train Your Replacement.
The Apprenticeship of Michael Phillips.
Mike Takes the Helm.
Continuity of Culture.
Selling the Company.
Closing the Deal—Complementary Skills.
Chapter 9 Take Risks.
The Inspiration of John Mroz.
The Opportunity of a Lifetime.
Russell’s Venture in Alternative Investing.
Asset Allocation is Rocket Science.
The Final Frontier?
Chapter 10 Have Fun.
Fun in the Himalayas.
The Russell Sabbatical Program.
Fun at Work.
Transition to Philanthropy.
New Adventures: Russian Puppets and Nuclear Waste.
The National Bureau of Asian Research.
The Pacific Health Summit.
The Business Humanitarian Forum.
One Nation Brings Together Americans of Different Faiths.
A Child’s Right.
About the Authors.
Michael Sheldon worked at Frank Russell Company from 1993 to 1999, writing marketing materials and helping George Russell draft articles and client communications. He cofounded XMedia Communications in 1999 to provide marketing, copywriting, creative content, and strategy to a diverse clientele.
George F. Russell, Jr., who built a billion-dollar global investment services firm on a foundation of 10 personal principles, has written a book explaining the inside story of how these simple lessons guided him and others toward success. Success By Ten: George Russell’s Top Ten Elements to Building a Billion Dollar Business (Wiley; December 2009;$24.95) , describes the origins, risks, and decision-making involved in development of Frank Russell Company, the pioneering pension consulting firm that created the Russell stock indices and a global array of investment products and services.
“These are the lessons I wish I’d been taught in business school. It would have saved me a lot of time and trouble,” said Mr. Russell. “I hope that these stories will help future generations of business leaders find the right path more quickly and easily than I did.”
The four-decade history of Frank Russell Company (known today as Russell Investments) is intertwined with Mr. Russell’s matter-of-fact storytelling and insights. His anecdotes about non-negotiable integrity, hiring smarter people, recognizing luck and having fun at work are treasured lore for those who worked alongside him during the past 40 years. Now Mr. Russell is sharing his favorite lessons at a time when many entrepreneurs, business leaders and civic-minded philanthropists are questioning what it takes to be successful during challenging times.
Mr. Russell is well known throughout the investment industry as the original pension consultant who led Frank Russell Company in a stream of investment industry innovations. While some of his ideas remained conceptual, many others gave way to enduring advancements in performance measurement, investment manager diversification, investment style analysis and international investing. Many of the core disciplines in today’s investment advisory and financial planning practices are outgrowths of the ideas that Mr. Russell introduced to institutional investors during the 1970s and 1980s. Together, these innovations helped create higher professional standards in the investment community and greater financial security for investors. In a time when financial security has become more important than ever, Mr. Russell’s 10 lessons provide timely and truthful reminders of personal business values that never go out of style.