Russell Swansen, chief investment officer for Thrivent Financial for the past 14 years, will retire effective June 30.
David Royal, president of Thrivent Mutual Funds, will succeed him.
Swansen has provided the oversight for all investments at Thrivent, including mutual funds, variable accounts and the general account. During his tenure, assets under management at Thrivent grew from $62 billion in 2003 to $105.8 billion as of Dec. 31.
“I’ve thought about this for a long time,” Swansen said. “I wanted to make this transition at a time when I thought everything was on solid footing.”
Swansen, who turns 60 in August, said he will continue to stay connected to Thrivent as a trustee of the Thrivent Mutual Fund business. He will also spend time advising entrepreneurs through Invenshure, a Minneapolis-based business incubator and “venture catalyst” firm that invests in disruptive technology in health care and technology industries.
Royal will succeed Swansen on July 1, and will be named a principal officer of Thrivent Financial and join Thrivent’s executive management team reporting to Thrivent CEO Brad Hewitt.
“David brings significant leadership and investment experience to the chief investment officer role,” Hewitt said in a release. “Under David’s leadership, Thrivent Mutual Funds has embarked on a journey to share Thrivent’s mission with more Christians.”
Ranked 318th on the most recent Fortune 500 list, Thrivent is a fraternal benefit organization that provides a variety of financial products and services. While assets under management have grown, Thrivent Mutual Funds has added 10,000 new investors and expect to add another 15,000 more in the coming year.
In April, Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund awards recognized Thrivent with six awards, including two broad-based awards that demonstrate the depth and breadth of the investment teams Swansen has helped build during his tenure.
Royal started at Thrivent in 2006 and has been deputy general counsel for Thrivent Financial and chief legal officer for Thrivent’s mutual funds. Before Thrivent, Royal was a partner at Chicago-based law firm Kirkland & Ellis.
Royal has worked closely with Swansen in his 11 years at Thrivent.
“We’ll continue to take the Thrivent approach, we’ll take the long-term approach. We’re not traders, we are investors,” Royal said.
He said his team of 100 investment professionals is well-credentialed.
“The ship’s going in a good direction,” Royal added. “We’ll keep it going in that direction.”