Peter Gunning brought a mix of global perspective and in-depth understanding of the local region when he returned from Russell’s US operations and was appointed to his current position as CEO Asia–Pacific at Russell Investments

He started his career trading options on futures on the floor of the Sydney Futures Exchange before moving to CBA as a financial markets economist. “I then moved from there to the asset management division of the bank, where I had responsibility for investment risk management before managing domestic equity portfolios and a number of balanced funds.

“From there, I moved to Russell Investments where I helped establish the asset management business for Russell in Australia, eventually taking on the role of chief investment officer Asia–Pacific.

“In 2007, I moved to the Russell’s head office in the US to take up the role of global chief investment officer where I was responsible for Russell’s global investment management and research division, comprising almost 300 investment professionals across the world, including Australia.”

During his tenure as global CIO, he helped transform the firm’s investment proposition to focus on world-class multi-asset solutions. He also successfully led Russell’s asset management and portfolio implementation teams through a period of historically challenging economic and market conditions.

“In my role, I had the privilege of leading Russell’s investment team that manages over $280 billion in assets, and trades a couple of trillion dollars a year. In 2008, as I was taking on my new role, the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 almost brought down the world’s financial system and provided a testing time for all investment managers. However, part of any career development is about dealing with adversity, and while it was a challenging time, in hindsight it was also quite an educational experience.”

Since returning to Australia and taking up his role as CEO Asia–Pacific at Russell Investments, Peter has helped form a focused and defined strategy for the region. “Russell operates from a position of strength, in terms of our unique investment capabilities and competitive differentiation, as well as our highly talented team of associates in areas such as actuarial services and consulting. Because you’ve got a firm that embodies a lot of intellectual capital, we have the ability to do a lot of things, but the challenge is to make sure we really focus those capabilities on our core strategy.