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Monday, April 20, 2009

Legg Mason Cuts More Jobs

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Legg Mason has trimmed 40 more jobs, a company spokeswoman confirmed to The MFWire.

The cuts affected 12 percent of Legg Mason's product and marketing support staff. Most of the employees impacted by the layoffs handled administrative functions, said Legg Mason spokeswoman Maria Rosati.

Most of the layoffs took effect Friday and affected employees in Connecticut, New York and Legg Mason's Baltimore headquarters.

Legg Mason currently counts 3,848 employees globally.

In an e-mailed statement, Rosati said the cuts are a "result of broader organizational changes made to align the Americas business strategy with long term opportunities and to focus the bulk of our investment on our client facing efforts."

Rosati declined to comment further on the broader organizational changes.

She also said Legg Mason does not anticipate across-the-board reductions in force.

"We continue to examine all areas of our business to align our operating costs with the realities of the marketplace and to identify appropriate cost savings," Rosati added. "While we do not anticipate across-the-board reductions in force, we are looking at each part of our operations strategically and will make changes consistent with our business requirements."

The layoffs last week are the latest in a string of cuts at Legg Mason.

Last month, Legg Mason cut 20 jobs impacting workers in the mutual fund administration department. Around the same time, Legg Mason subsidiary Western Asset Management laid off around 100 workers, or about 10 percent of its staff (see The MFWire, 03/24/09).

In December, Legg Mason laid off 200 employees, or 8 percent of its headcount (see The MFWire, 12/05/08).

In October, Legg Mason Capital Management, the unit headed by Bill Miller, laid off 40 to 50 employees, or about a third of its staff (see The MFWire, 10/30/08). 

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