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Russell Launches Multi-Manager Hedge Fund

NEWS RELEASE


9th July 2001


Russell Launches Multi-Manager Hedge Fund

Frank Russell today announced the launch of The Alternative Strategies Fund ("the Fund"), giving New Zealand institutional investors access to some of the world's leading hedge fund managers. Russell has created the Fund in response to growing interest in hedge fund strategies from both institutional and individual investors.

Consistent with Russell's Multi Asset Multi Style Multi Manager(tm) approach to investment, the Fund will be diversified across a number of underlying hedge fund strategies - primarily those with low correlation to traditional asset classes. Initially, approximately 15 managers will be used and this number is expected to rise as the funds under management in the Fund increase. The objective of the Alternative Strategies Fund is to deliver returns in the region of 10 to 15% per annum (after the underlying manager fees and before Russell fees), combined with a significantly lower level of volatility than traditional equity markets.

The Fund benefits from Russell's dedicated global team of hedge fund experts researching hedge fund managers and products, coupled with the broader resources of the Frank Russell Company. As the hedge fund industry evolves, it is becoming more institutional in nature. Increasingly, analysts and portfolio managers are leaving institutional firms to start hedge funds, while many large institutional investment houses are creating hedge fund products of their own.

Russell's experience researching both the typical 'boutique' hedge fund managers and institutional managers gives it unique insight into the rapidly changing hedge fund industry. Knowledge of all these managers and selecting the best from the universe of hedge fund managers is key. According to Derek Doupe, Russell's Associate Director, Alternative Investments: "The dispersion of risk and return amongst hedge fund managers is huge, even amongst managers pursuing similar strategies. This makes manager selection even more critical than with traditional investments."

Russell has shown a long-standing commitment to the alternative investment industry, with analysts providing research in all key markets. Russell began researching hedge funds in the United States in 1986, when the industry was still in its infancy, and started its first alternative investment Multi-Manager programme in 1987. It currently has over NZ$6.3 billion in a number of alternative investment funds globally.

The Alternative Strategies Fund is the initial fund of Frank Russell Alternative Investment Funds plc, an open-ended investment company incorporated in Ireland. The new Fund will sit alongside the range of products offered by the Frank Russell Company, offering investors another level of diversification for their portfolios. Russell's European clients currently have access to 28 Multi Asset Multi Style Multi Manager(tm) funds, covering equities and fixed income products in the various global markets.

Commenting on the launch, Edward Smith, Director of Frank Russell Company (NZ) Ltd, said: "We are confident that this new Fund will be as well received as other Russell funds. It shares a common investment philosophy with our other funds: consistent performance coupled with low volatility and risk. This Fund also shows Russell's commitment to providing its clients with innovative products."

Derek Doupe added: "This Fund offers investors access to some of the best hedge fund managers in the world and an efficient route into the often opaque world of hedge funds. Importantly, the fund also benefits from the unrivalled wealth of investment knowledge within the Russell organisation." In New Zealand, the Fund is only being offered to institutional investors (who are not members of the public).

Frank Russell Company, a global investment services firm, provides multi-manager investment products and services in more than 35 countries, and has been researching money managers for more than 30 years. Worldwide, Russell manages over NZ$149 billion in assets and advises clients representing approximately NZ$3.0 trillion worldwide. In New Zealand, In New Zealand, Frank Russell Company (N.Z.) Limited advises on more than NZ$14 billion in assets, and invests around NZ$1.3 billion for New Zealand investors in Russell Funds. Founded in 1936, Russell is a subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual and is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, USA with additional offices in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Singapore, Sydney, Auckland, Tokyo and Johannesburg.

- ENDS -

Frank Russell Company, a Washington, USA Corporation, operates through subsidiaries worldwide. This news release is issued by Frank Russell Company (N.Z.) Limited.

Contact: Edward Smith, Director, Frank Russell Company (NZ) Ltd: (09) 357 6633 or 021 707 963 Jane Clement, Media Relations: 021 2177 114

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