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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bill Miller Steps Down

Reported by Hung Tran

Bill Miller is leaving his post as chief investment officer and lead portfolio manager of the Legg Mason Capital Management Value Equity strategy, according to a statement from Legg Mason Capital Management [see profile]. Yet, he's not leaving the firm altogether.

In his stead, Sam Peters will take over as PM of the fund, effective April 30, 2012. Fundsters may be familiar with Peters, who was named as a co-PM of the Value Equity fund last May. Peters has been with Legg mason since 2005 and his rise to the chief investment officer position "is a natural progression in Sam’s role in shaping our research efforts," according to the statement. Peters will continue to co-manage the Legg Mason Capital Management Mid-Cap strategy with Albert Grosman.

Miller, who assumed overall responsibility for LMCM’s investment program in late 1990, will continue as chairman of the firm and manage the Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity portfolios, along with a number of other strategies.

He led the Legg Mason Capital Management Value Trust's on a historic run of 15 consecutive years besting the S&P 500 index after-fees from 1991 through 2005. However, the fund took a nose dive from 2006-2008 underperforming its benchmark because of notable bad bets on Amazon.com and Yahoo.
November 17, 2011

Re: LMCM Value Equity Manager Update

Dear Clients and Friends,

As part of our continued advancement of the next generation of leadership at Legg Mason Capital Management, we are pleased to announce that, effective April 30, 2012, Sam Peters will become lead portfolio manager of the Legg Mason Capital Management Value Equity strategy, as well as Chief Investment Officer for LMCM. Bill Miller will continue to serve as LMCM’s Chairman and to manage the Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity portfolios, along with a number of other strategies. Mary Chris Gay will continue to serve as a portfolio manager for the LMCM Value Equity strategy.

This announcement is the culmination of a long and thoughtful transition process that began more than five years ago, and that we shared with clients in the spring of 2010 when Bill identified Sam as his eventual successor on the Value Equity strategy. Since November 2010, Sam has co-managed the Value Trust and Value Equity strategy with Bill and the two have worked together to make important adjustments to the portfolio’s construction and characteristics. We believe this step ensures our continued ability to serve our clients through the consistent application of our investment philosophy and process.

Sam has been with LMCM since 2005 and he has managed or co-managed a number of LMCM strategies during his tenure. During his years with LMCM, Sam has proven to be a talented investor, independent thinker, and steady leader. Sam has made significant contributions to our investment process, including adding quantitative insights to security selection and portfolio construction. Several years ago, Sam assumed oversight of our research team, and working closely with our Director of Research, he has been instrumental in enhancing our analytical platform. Adding the responsibility of Chief Investment Officer is a natural progression in Sam’s role in shaping our research efforts. Sam will continue to co-manage the Legg Mason Capital Management Mid-Cap strategy with Albert Grosman.

As always, we appreciate the trust you have placed in us and welcome your questions and comments. 

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