Legg Mason picks Joe Sullivan as new CEO and president

The board at global asset manager Legg Mason has named Joseph Sullivan president and CEO, and a member of the board of directors.

In addition, it announced that Dennis Kass, a veteran leader in the US asset management industry, will join the Legg Mason board, effective 1 April 2013.

Since 1 October 2012, Sullivan has served as Legg Mason’s interim CEO. He joined in 2008 as senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer and more recently, served as head of Global Distribution.

Kass retired in 2012 as CEO of Jennison Associates, an asset management company wholly‐owned by Prudential Financial, Inc., having served in this position since 2003. Previously, he had spent more than a decade with JP Morgan’s Investment Management unit, culminating in the position of vice chairman of JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management.

W. Allen Reed, Legg Mason’s non‐executive chairman,who led the voard’s Search Committee, said that since being named interim CEO four months ago Sullivan “has acted with a sense of urgency and clarity of purpose”.

“We have been impressed that he is bringing a fresh perspective and renewed energy to Legg Mason, has a clear vision for the company and has demonstrated an ability to address the challenges and opportunities necessary to regenerate the growth of Legg Mason.

“The voard is unanimously aligned with the direction Joe wants to take the company and believes his no‐nonsense management style will enable a fast start on the path to rebuilding Legg Mason as a premier asset management company.”

He noted that “importantly”, Sullivan has developed a relationship with the affiliate leadership teams that the voard believes will enable a collaborative and mutually beneficial process.

Sullivan said one of his top priorities was forging a shared vision for Legg Mason centred primarily on growth. “We will seek to do this organically and through acquisitions of teams and firms that build and diversify our affiliate managers and fill our product gaps. And, as always, we will also continue our efforts to be more efficient across all business functions.”

In addition to his positions at Legg Mason, Sullivan also serves as a current trustee and former chair of the Securities Industry Institute, was a former chair of the Fixed Income Committee of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), a board member of the Bond Market Association and a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Hearing Board.

Prior to Legg Mason, Sullivan served on the board of directors of Stifel Financial and as executive vice president and head of Fixed Income Capital Markets for Stifel Nicolaus from December 2005 until rejoining Legg Mason in 2008.

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