What Is FTSE Russell?

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DEFINITION

FTSE Russell is owned by the London Stock Exchange Group. The company is a leading provider of global financial product indexes, stock market analysis, and data solutions. The company is most known for its stock market indexes, such as the FTSE 100 Index.

FTSE Russell is owned by the London Stock Exchange Group, a leading provider of global financial product indexes, stock market analysis, and data solutions. The company is most known for its stock market indexes, such as the FTSE 100 Index.

Learn more about FTSE Russell, its indexes and products, and how you can gain exposure.

What Is FTSE Russell?

FTSE Russell is a financial services company owned by the London Stock Exchange Group. The FTSE 100 was first created in January of 1984 by Russell Indexes. It started with a base level of 1,000 and has since reached highs of over 7,000.

The company was launched in 1995 as a joint venture between the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange. In 2013, FTSE and TMX group created a joint venture (FTSE TMX) to develop indexes for the North American fixed-income market. The group acquired MTS in 2014 to create European government indexes and combined with Russell that same year to form FTSE Russell.

Between 2016 and 2019, FTSE Russell acquired Mergent, The Yield Book, Citi Fixed Income Indices, FTSE TMX Global Debt Capital Markets Limited, and Beyond Ratings—an environmental, social, and governance data provider.

FTSE Russell creates indexes used by many investment funds, ETFs, and other financial products as benchmarks or references. The most popular index maintained by FTSE Russell is the FTSE 100, which consists of the 100 most highly capitalized companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Many international investors use the FTSE indexes, and the FTSE 100 in particular, as a proxy for the broader U.K. market, similar to how U.S. investors look at the Dow Jones or S&P 500 indexes.

In addition to its index products, FTSE Russell provides financial, academic, and professional data and analytics used by investors and financial institutions globally.

What Does FTSE Russell Do?

Because of the strategic acquisitions made by FTSE Russell, the company offers many different products and services. It creates indexes and performs research and analysis for financial professionals, firms, investors, and academics.

Indexes

Indexes track the performance of a group of securities. FTSE Russell has over 150 index families that include fixed income, equity, multi-asset, and alternative asset class indexes.

The Russell US Indexes are equity indexes that focus on micro-, mid-, and mega-cap companies. The indexes include:

  • Russell 1000
  • Russell 2000
  • Russell Top 50 Mega Cap
  • Russell Top 500

Its most popular indexes are those that include U.K. companies, such as:

  • FTSE 100
  • FTSE 100 Total Return Index
  • FTSE 100 Net of Tax Index
  • FTSE 250
  • FTSE 350
  • FTSE All-Share.

FTSE Russell has also created indexes, such as the FTSE4Good and the FTSE ESG Index Series, which focus on companies that demonstrate desirable environmental, social, and governance practices. Examples include:

  • FTSE4Good Emerging Indexes
  • FTSE4Good ASEAN 5 Index
  • FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia Index
  • FTSE4Good TIP Taiwan ESG Index
  • FTSE All-share ESG Index
  • Russell 1000 ESG Index

Data

FTSE Russell provides access to global financial data on equities, fixed income, corporate actions, sustainability, and exchange-traded funds. The data sets collected are significant enough to allow for the creation of indexes, methodologies, risk management, compliance, and research across a broad spectrum of global products.

FTSE Russell owns Mergent and Mergent Online, a leading data and reference provider for academic and professional research and study. Their database houses archives of corporate records and references that date back as far as 100 years.

What It Means for Individual Investors

If you have an international trading account set up at a broker, you'll be able to gain access to most of FTSE's indexes through the London Stock Exchange or other international exchanges. However, U.S. retail investors are limited to the products U.S.-based brokers provide. It can be challenging to invest in the stocks on FTSE's indexes or in funds that mirror their performance. However, a few brokers provide exposure to some of the indexes.

For example, the Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFTAX) seeks to track the FTSE4Good US Select Index. Vanguard also has an ETF that mirrors the performance of the FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index, an index of around 3,500 stocks from global emerging markets.

You can also choose to invest in the Russell US indexes, such as the Russell 3000, which are comprised of the stocks of U.S. companies chosen by FTSE Russell. Many brokers have mutual funds or ETFs that track these indexes—these might not be the international indexes, but they are developed by the same company that designed their international counterparts.

Key Takeaways

  • FTSE Russell develops indexes used as benchmarks for investment funds. 
  • The most popular FTSE Russell index is the FTSE 100, which includes the 100 most highly capitalized companies in the U.K. 
  • ETFs are a popular way to take advantage of the FTSE 100 and other FTSE indexes. 
  • You can invest in FTSE index stocks and other products if you live in the U.S., but you must be registered as an international investor.
  • You can also invest in U.K.-focused ETFs that trade on U.S. stock exchanges.

The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Article Sources

  1. FTSE Russell. "History and Heritage."

  2. FTSE Russell. "FTSE UK Index Series." View index ticker at bottom of page.

  3. FTSE Russell. "FTSE Russell Solutions."

  4. FTSE Russell. "Russell US Indexes."

  5. FTSE Russell. "FTSE Russell UK Index Series."

  6. FTSE Russell. "FTSE Russell Solutions," Page 99.

  7. Vanguard. "Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFTAX)."

  8. Vanguard. "Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO)."