Legg Mason star will advise Canadian company

Miller to offer `expertise' on firm's mutual funds

August 02, 2002|By William Patalon III | William Patalon III,SUN STAFF

Star Legg Mason Inc. mutual fund manager William H. Miller III will ply his trade north of the border.

CI Mutual Funds Inc., a Canadian company, announced yesterday that Legg Mason's Miller has signed on as a sub-adviser to several of its mutual funds.

Miller remains in his post at Legg, where he is chief executive officer of Legg Mason Funds Management Inc. He also manages the Legg Mason Value Trust, a mutual fund that last year outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 index for the 11th-straight year.

CI investors will now get the benefit of Miller's expertise, said Peter W. Anderson, president of CI Mutual Funds, in a statement.

"We are pleased to add an extraordinary and talented manager such as Bill Miller to the CI family of funds," Anderson said. "With this agreement, CI will be the only retail fund company in Canada to offer Mr. Miller's expertise to the retail investor."

Legg Mason declined to comment.

This isn't the first time Miller has offered his expertise to investors besides those in Legg Mason funds.

In 1999, Ohio National Financial Services in Cincinnati hired Miller and his team of money managers to run a $300 million investment portfolio, also as a sub-adviser.

In that role, Miller and his team provided Ohio National investment advice for a fee. Legg was to initially receive 0.45 percent of total assets under management, or $1.35 million a year.

Financial details of the arrangement with CI were not available yesterday.

Plans call for Miller to manage a U.S. stock fund called the CI Value Trust, to be launched this month.

He will assume management of the company's Clarica Premier American Fund on Sept. 1, and the Clarica US Growth Equity Fund in late October, according to CI.

Last month, Miller guided company subsidiary Legg Mason Funds Management's $100 million investment into Level 3 Communications Inc. Legg joined with legendary investor Warren Buffett and a third firm to invest $500 million into Level 3, a U.S. telecommunications company that operates a huge fiber-optic network.

Level 3's goal was to shop for deals on distressed properties in a telecommunications sector crushed by the collapse in technology stocks.

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