Legg Mason to buy Martin Currie

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Legg Mason has announced the acquisition of Martin Currie, an active international equity specialist based in the United Kingdom.

The firm, with its global exposure to emerging markets, will become a core independent investment affiliate of Legg Mason, along with Brandywine Global, ClearBridge Investments, The Permal Group, QS Investors, Royce & Associates and Western Asset Management.

Also as part of this transaction, Legg Mason Australian Equities (“LMAE”) with $2.5bn in AUM and a 14-person team led by Reece Birtles, will become part of Martin Currie, consistent with Legg Mason’s strategy of creating fewer and larger investment affiliates.

LMAE is an active Australian equities manager, offering clients strategies that include Small Cap, Property/Infrastructure, Income and Large Cap Value. These strategies will continue to be managed by the LMAE investment teams, while the combined business will benefit from an expanded global institutional reach.

“With over 130 years of history and as an active international equity specialist, Martin Currie is focused on alpha generation alongside building superior client relationships,” a statement said.

The transaction is expected to be completed during quarter 4 2014 subject to regulatory approval.

Joe Sullivan, President and CEO of Legg Mason said, “Martin Currie’s active international equity capabilities fill our largest product gap and are a perfect complement to our existing investment capabilities. The Martin Currie management team shares our passion for innovation, our commitment to delivering compelling investment results and our singular focus on the needs of our clients.”

Willie Watt, Chief Executive of Martin Currie, said: “We believe Legg Mason is the ideal strategic partner to grow our business further and will position us as the strategic international equities specialist in one of the most powerful independent investment management companies globally. Most importantly for our clients, the partnership gives us investment and operational autonomy, and this means our client proposition remains unchanged.”


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