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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ClearBridge CEO Heads Out

News summary by MFWire's editors

The CEO of Legg Mason's ClearBridge Advisors is out. Brian Posner has stepped down as chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer of the company.

A spokeswoman for Legg Mason could not immediately be reached for comment on who will succeed Posner as CEO in the interim or on a search for a more permanent successor.

Hersh Cohen, currently co-CIO will become the sole CIO. Together, Cohen and Terrence Murphy, current chief operating officer, will take over day to day management of the firm.

Peter Bain, senior executive vice president of Legg Mason, will become ClearBridge's interim chairman when Posner departs on March 31. He will also assist Cohen and Murphy in transitioning to a new CEO.

Company Press Release

ClearBridge Advisors, a leading asset manager, announced today that Brian S. Posner has decided to step down as Chief Executive Officer and co-Chief Investment Officer, effective March 31, 2008, to pursue entrepreneurial activities in financial services. ClearBridge Advisors is a unit of Legg Mason.

The operating leadership team led by Hersh Cohen as sole Chief Investment Officer and Terrence Murphy as Chief Operating Officer will continue to run the day-to-day business of the firm. Peter L. Bain, Senior Executive Vice President of Legg Mason, will become ClearBridge's interim Chairman on March 31, and will assist the management team in transitioning to a new CEO. The Legg Mason Partners Capital fund, which Mr. Posner co-managed, will continue to be managed by Brian Angerame.

Mark Fetting, Legg Mason's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "During the critical period in which we established ClearBridge, Brian helped set the firm on the right course, for which we are grateful. Together with the strong team of experienced portfolio managers at ClearBridge, we intend to continue to build on that progress, and we wish Brian well. While we are sorry to see him go, we are also pleased that he has agreed to be available to consult beyond March 31 to ensure a seamless transition."

Mr. Posner said, "It has been an honor and privilege to lead the transformation of ClearBridge Advisors since its acquisition by Legg Mason in 2005. I am fully confident in the ability of ClearBridge's talented group of investment professionals and strong leadership team to meet its objective of providing investors with superior performance and service."

ClearBridge Advisors is a US equity manager that was established by Legg Mason in early 2006 after Legg Mason acquired the asset management arm of Citigroup.

About Legg Mason

Legg Mason is a global asset management firm, with $998 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2007. The Company provides active asset management in many major investment centers throughout the world. Legg Mason is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange NYSE: LM.

Edited by: Erin Kello

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