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Rating:Changes are Afoot at ClearBridge Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, August 06, 2009

Changes are Afoot at ClearBridge

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Legg Mason unit ClearBridge Advisors is undergoing some changes. Chief investment officer Hersh Cohen will no longer manage the $4 billion Legg Mason Partners Appreciation Fund effective December 31. Scott Glasser will run the fund with Mike Kagan.

ClearBridge CEO Peter Sundman told The MFWire that contrary to a media report, Cohen is not thinking about retiring.

"He's age-defying," Sundman said of the 68-year-old Cohen.

Sundman said Cohen has discussed with him for some time about stepping down from the Appreciation Fund. "He's moving more toward funds that have a dividend or income component," Sundman said.

In an SEC filing on Wednesday, ClearBridge unveiled the proposed reorganization of the LMP Equity Income Builder into the LMP Capital and Income Fund. Cohen will manage the fund, along with Peter Vanderlee and Mike Clarfeld.

As part of that merger, manager Robert Gendelman will depart ClearBridge, Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, Alan Blake, 60, is retiring from Clearbridge in October. Glasser will co-manage the LMP Large Cap Growth Fund with Peter Bourbeau.

Glasser will longer manage Dividend Strategy and relinquish his role as co-director of research. Chris Eades will remain co-direcctor and Tom Hudson will be the other director.

"As part of its ongoing efforts to rationalize and align strategies with market needs, ClearBridge Advisors, is making several changes to better service shareholders and the retirement market," ClearBridge spokeswoman Maria Rosati stated in an e-mail to The MFWire. "The portfolio changes are consistent with our goal of providing a platform which focuses on research and allows our managers to make better investment decisions."

ClearBridge, she said, has a research team consisting of 21 analysts. "From this we can add bench strength across investment strategies," she added. 

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