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Success By Ten: George Russell's Top Ten Elements to Building a Billion-Dollar Business


Praise For Success By Ten

"George Russell, seeking to grow the company started by his grandfather, along the way invented a profession, investment management consulting, and created a highly respected major investment management organization. This book tells the story of his creative journey and spells out the lessons he learned, lessons invaluable to all business people, especially entrepreneurs or those seeking to grow small companies."

Michael J. Clowes, Editor at Large, Pensions & Investments and InvestmentNews

"If George Russell's principles became best practices for business and beyond, we would have a more prosperous people and a more peaceful world."¿

Sam A. Nunn, former U.S. Senator, Georgia

"George has lived an incredible life and his success is a tribute to the virtues he promotes: hard work, determination, and integrity."

William H. Gates Sr., Attorney, philanthropist, and author of the book, Showing Up for Life

"The principles that George followed in building a billion-dollar business are equally important in my work as a peace mediator. . . . If these principles would have been followed, we would have avoided the present financial crises. I therefore warmly recommend this book to everybody."

President Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland 1994–2000, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2008

"A must read. . . filled with wisdom."

John C. Whitehead, former Deputy Secretary of State

"Success by Ten provides an inspiring account of how one man carefully built one of the world's great financial institutions."

Carla A. Hills, former Secretary of HUD and U.S. Trade Representative

"This book inspires and instills the wisdom necessary to excel in this global economy."

David Boren, former Governor and U.S. Senator, Oklahoma

"One needs to throw out a lot of those old management books. Success by Ten does for management what Russell has already done in so many other fields. This is an inspiring, profound, and easy read for existing and aspiring leaders alike."

John Edwin Mroz, President, EastWest Institute

"Readers of this book will enjoy a triple treat: an excellent business growth guide, a lively personal story of the challenges and excitement of the entrepreneurial life, and a clear and potent reminder of why living your good values really matters."

John R. O'neal, author of The Paradox of Success

"George Russell is...strategic and a nut for details, generous and loyal, and filled with integrity. What an extraordinary legacy."

Richard J. Ellings, cofounder and President, National Bureau of Asian Research

George F. Russell Jr. pioneered the business of pension fund consulting in the late 1960s and was named in 1993 as one of the four most influential people in the world of institutional investing. He is the creator of the Russell 2000 Index and the visionary behind Frank Russell Company, one of the world's leading investment management and advisory firms, with offices in financial centers worldwide. George Russell received the Lillywhite Award from the Employee Benefits Research Council for outstanding lifetime contributions to enhancing Americans' economic security in 1998, the CFA Institute's Thomas L. Hansberger Leadership in Global Investing Award in 2008, and the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in 2009.

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.



Chapter 1 Non-Negotiable Integrity.

Building Character.

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.

London Calling.

Our Battle to Exceed Client Expectations.

A Funny Thing Happened on May 1, 1980.

The Only Difference is the Zeros.

Making It Fly.

FRTC’s All-Stars.

From Wall Street to Main Street.

Concentric Circles.

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.

Sharing Credit—Globally.

Sharing Ownership.

Chapter 7 Recognize Luck.

Are You a Decision Maker?

The Decision Factory.

Decision Triggers.

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.

Moving Forward.

Chapter 9 Take Risks.

New Opportunities.

The Inspiration of John Mroz.

The Opportunity of a Lifetime.

Access Matters.

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.

EastWest Institute.

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.