Legg Mason recruits 2 to run trust

Cole named chairman and CEO

Lambdin is vice chairman

New thrift unit expanding

Banking executives sought for their local stature, experience

Financial services

July 22, 1999|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

Legg Mason Inc. said yesterday that it has hired two prominent figures in the Baltimore investment arena to head its expanding trust company.

Charles W. Cole Jr., former chief executive of First Maryland Bancorp, left his position as vice chairman of Brown Investment Advisory & Trust Co. to become chairman and chief executive of Legg Mason Trust Co.

Jennifer W. Lambdin will become vice chairman, leaving her job as president and chief investment officer of Allied Investment Advisors, the investment management subsidiary of Allfirst Bank.

In May, Legg Mason won approval to establish a federal thrift institution with nationwide trust powers. Without federal approval, the company could not sell trust products in states that would not accept a Maryland-licensed trust company. Legg Mason plans to merge its trust company, which was chartered in 1993, into the expanded entity.

Raymond A. "Chip" Mason, chairman and chief executive, said Legg Mason manages nearly $4 billion in trust for "high net value," or wealthy, people and that the immediate goal is to build the amount to $10 billion and keep growing.

"It will take two years to get on track with what we want, and then we will have an idea of how successful we are," he said. "Certainly, we will be somewhat successful, but the question is if we can build it to become a major player."

Mason said he is "thrilled" with the local stature that Cole and Lambdin bring to the company, but that his decision to hire them had more to do with their experience.

"Charlie had been chief executive of [First Maryland] for 10 years and has a broad banking background, and trust background more recently, and Jennifer has been in the money management and trust area her entire career," Mason said. "The answer is, both had a lot of experience in the business."

Cole, 63, retired from First Maryland in April 1994 and joined an investment advisory affiliate of Alex. Brown Inc. that August.

Last July, directors and employees of Alex. Brown Capital Advisory & Trust Co. led a buyout of the company from parent Bankers Trust New York Corp., and Cole became vice chairman of the new entity.

"Legg Mason, in our community, is a financial jewel, and Chip is a superbly brilliant leader, and a lot of people on this excellent team have been here for years, and there is a great deal of loyalty to the people who work here," said Cole, who started his new job Monday. "There is a wonderful esprit de corps."

Lambdin, 43, joined First National Bank of Maryland -- a subsidiary of First Maryland Bancorp, which recently changed its name to Allfirst Financial Inc. -- as a junior portfolio manager nearly 22 years ago and rose to become president and chief investment officer of Allied Investment Advisors Inc., the investment arm of First National that was spun off in 1996.

She said that leaving Allied was a hard decision but that she felt it was in good shape and in good hands. She is to start at Legg Mason Aug. 2.

"This simply seemed like a wonderful opportunity to help build a business within a wonderful company. I've been a big admirer of Chip's for 20-some years," she said.

"This was also a chance to build something with Charlie, who was very instrumental in my career, so that will be exciting. It was a once-in-a-career opportunity and the right time in my life to do it," Lambdin said.

Shares of Legg Mason closed yesterday at $36, down 31.25 cents.

Pub Date: 7/22/99

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