Legg Mason names 3 to head new divisions

BUSINESS DIGEST

June 29, 2006|By LAURA SMITHERMAN | LAURA SMITHERMAN,SUN REPORTER

Legg Mason Inc., the Baltimore-based investment management company, named three senior executives yesterday to run newly formed business units arising from its $3.7 billion business swap with Citigroup Inc.

The realignment of company operations comes six months after Legg Mason closed the deal with New York-based Citigroup, casting off its brokerage and investment banking businesses to concentrate on managing money. Through the transaction, Legg took on Citigroup funds and doubled the assets it has under management, which reached $868 billion at the end of March.

"This organizational structure is better suited to our current mix of business," James W. Hirschmann, who became president in May, said in a statement. Hirschmann is expected to take over as chief executive officer when Chairman and CEO Raymond A. "Chip" Mason retires, though his departure date hasn't been set.

While the company has noted progress in integrating new operations, executives have acknowledged that the process will last several more months. In a meeting with analysts from Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co. earlier this month, Mason and other executives said "it could take several more quarters before the success of the transaction could be fully measured," the analysts said in a research note.

Legg Mason's new structure includes three divisions that will be headed by Mark R. Fetting, Timothy C. Scheve and Peter L. Bain.

Fetting, who joined Legg Mason in 2000, will head the division that includes mutual funds. It will encompass Legg Mason Capital Management, star money manager Bill Miller's shop, as well as Western Asset Funds, part of the bond shop where Hirschmann had worked until being tapped to lead the company.

Scheve, who will retain his position as chief administrative officer in charge of operations, human resources and compliance, will lead a division that includes the company's subsidiaries based outside the United States. He has been with Legg Mason for more than two decades.

Bain, who joined Legg Mason in 2000, will run a unit comprising institutional and wealth management operations, including the Permal Group, which manages funds of hedge funds. Legg acquired Permal last year.

laura.smitherman@baltsun.com

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