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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Legg Loses Mason's Successor

News summary by MFWire's editors

Raymond Mason, Legg Mason's chairman and CEO has recommitted himself to the job of president. This follows the surprise relinquishment of responsibilities by James W. Hirschmann, III, who was just one year ago appointed to the posts of President and Chief Operating Officer at Legg Mason, Inc. Mason has committed to lead the company for two more years while searching for another viable successor. Hirschmann will continue remain based in California as Chief Executive Officer of Western Asset Management Company, Legg Mason's largest subsidiary. -ed.

Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE: LM - News) announced today that James W. Hirschmann, III has decided to relinquish his responsibilities as President and Chief Operating Officer at Legg Mason, Inc. and will remain based in California as Chief Executive Officer of Western Asset Management Company, Legg Mason's global fixed income asset manager and largest subsidiary. Mr. Hirschmann said the decision was made for personal and family reasons.

Raymond A. "Chip" Mason, Legg Mason's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will reassume the additional responsibility of President and has committed to continue to lead the company for at least two more years. During that period, Mr. Mason and Legg Mason's Board of Directors will work to identify Mr. Mason's successor.

Mr. Hirschmann said, "Being appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Legg Mason a year ago was a great honor. And, while I believed when I accepted the position that I could split my time between Baltimore and Pasadena, I now fully appreciate that the job requires someone who will devote his or her full time and energy in Baltimore. I have come to the very difficult decision that it is not in my children's best interest to uproot them from their close friends and family members in California where we have made our home. I am deeply grateful to Chip and the Board for their understanding and look forward to returning full time as CEO of Western Asset Management."

Mr. Mason said, "We understand and respect what a close-knit family Jim has and know he will continue to do an outstanding job at Western Asset, our largest subsidiary."

Western Asset Management, which is headquartered in Pasadena, California, had assets under management of approximately $572.8 billion at December 31, 2006, representing approximately 60 percent of Legg Mason's total assets under management. Mr. Hirschmann joined Western Asset in 1989, and was appointed its President and Chief Executive Officer in 1999.

Legg Mason, Inc. is a global asset management firm, with approximately $945 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2006. The company provides active asset management in many investment centers throughout the world. Legg Mason is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: LM).  

Edited by: Erin Kello

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