Legg Mason Cutting Jobs as `Disruption' Plagues Fund Industry

Ed. Note: This article first appeared in Bloomberg

Legg Mason is cutting about 30 jobs, or 3 percent of its administrative staff, to respond to the money-management industry’s shift toward lower-fee investing.

“Legg Mason is refocusing its resources in response to the disruption affecting the asset-management industry,” Mary Athridge, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore-based firm, said Wednesday in an emailed statement.

“We looked at our overall business to meet these pressures and to deploy capital towards investments in technology, products and distribution."

"As such, we further reduced operating costs, which includes a reduction in headcount.”

The cuts, which were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal, will affect administrative positions and will not require layoffs of investment-oriented personnel at Legg Mason’s units.

This is including Western Asset Management, ClearBridge Investments and Brandywine Global, Athridge said in a telephone interview.

Firms like Legg Mason, which mostly runs actively managed strategies in stocks, bonds and other assets, face increased competition from those specializing in passively run index funds that typically charge lower fees.

The Legg Mason announcement comes as BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, is said to be firing more than 30 people in its active equities group and putting more emphasis on quantitative strategies.

Legg Mason oversaw $722.9 billion as of Feb. 28.

Posted by: The Trust Advisor


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