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Russell Investments’ parent company announces ‘commitment to downtown Milwaukee’

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on Dec. 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
December 6, 2012 3:51 pm

Can’t help but read this news release with a slightly curled lip.

“Northwestern Mutual today announced plans for a new downtown Milwaukee office tower expected to preserve 1,100 current jobs in the city while creating capacity for as many as 1,700 new jobs.”

Northwestern Mutual is the parent company of Russell Investments, the company born 77 years ago in Tacoma that Northwestern Mutual moved to Seattle a few years ago after it got a screaming deal on an empty high-rise left from the spectacular failure of Washington Mutual.

Local leaders pitched hard to the Milwaukee company to build a signature new headquarters building for Russell here in Tacoma.

Though of course the comparison isn’t perfect, it’s hard to read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report on Northwestern Mutual’s announcement without playing Mad Libs. Just insert “Tacoma” where you see “Milwaukee,” and that’s the story Tacoma would have loved to read in the fall of 2009.

“This will be a signature development that makes a huge statement about the attractiveness of the whole Milwaukee metro area,” John Schlifske, chairman and chief executive officer, told the paper. “We are going to be here and continue to play a vital role in this community for generations to come.”

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