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London Stock Exchange Group is one of three final bidders for Seattle-based Russell Investments, The Wall Street Journal is reporting on its website.

Russell, which occupies a downtown Seattle tower bearing its name, was put up for sale earlier this year by parent company Northwestern Mutual of Milwaukee. The company employs about 1,800, roughly half in Seattle and the rest in 20 offices worldwide.

Citing unnamed people familiar with the sale, the Journal said the operator of London’s stock exchange is competing with investment information provider MSCI and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Russell produces stock indexes like the Russell 2000, and also manages more than $250 billion in investments; the London exchange and MSCI are primarily interested in the index business, according to people cited by the Journal, although all bids are for the entire company.

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Russell Investments was founded in Tacoma in 1936. Northwestern bought it in 1999, but Russell has been run autonomously since then. In 2010, Russell moved its headquarters to Seattle.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

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