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Rating:Legg Mason Shakes Up Colorado 529 Funds Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Legg Mason Shakes Up Colorado 529 Funds

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Now that Legg Mason is focused on the asset management business -- and out of the distribution side of things -- it is beefing up the fund manager lineup in its flagship 529 college savings program. The asset manager's Scholar's Choice arm added five Legg Mason funds to the $2 billion Colorado Scholars Choice Plan this week.

Debra Demuth, director of CollegeInvest, said that the changes are part of a "constant" effort to add innovative features and enhance the investment lineup.

Legg Mason runs the plan's investment options as funds of funds though its CAM North America subsidiary, and the new funds will become part of the plan's underlying portfolios. The added funds include five Legg Mason products: Legg Mason Value Trust Fund, Legg Mason Partners Aggressive Growth Fund (subadvised by ClearBridge Advisors), The Royce Pennsylvania Mutual Fund (subadvised by Royce & Co.), Legg Mason International Equity Trust (subadvised by Batterymarch Financial Management) and the Western Asset Core Plus Bond Portfolio, which is advised by Legg Mason affiliate Western Asset Portfolio Management team.

Also winning a spot in the plan was the John Hancock Classic Value Fund, which is subadvised by Pzena Investment Management. John Hancock closed that fund to new investors earlier this month.

Earlier, the portfolios had invested in two additional non-Legg Mason funds, including American Funds EuroPacific and the BlackRock Government Fund.

"As part of Legg Mason, we are able to offer investors expanded capabilities from a number of Legg Mason's investment management subsidiaries, as well as new options from well-regarded outside managers. Each of the new investment advisors has a long-term track record in their particular investment style, which spans the spectrum of equity asset classes, growth and value styles, and fixed income investing," said Steven Bleiberg, global head of Asset Allocation for the 529 Plans managed by Legg Mason affiliates.  

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