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Rating:Is Miller's Exit a 'Tactical Positive' for Legg Mason? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, November 18, 2011

Is Miller's Exit a 'Tactical Positive' for Legg Mason?

News summary by MFWire's editors

Bill Miller, the "last mutual fund rock star" according to CNBC's John Melloy, is stepping aside without leaving completely [see MFWire.com, 11/17/2011], but what does it mean, for Legg Mason [see profile], for investors, for the industry? Is the fallen star PM's move a "necessary tactical positive" for Legg Mason, the reaction of Citigroup analysts, according to the Wall Street Journal? Or do investors and Legg Mason executives alike have "reasons to be worried that this fund is changing its nature," in the words of Morningstar's Bridget Hughes, according to Murray Coleman's "Focus on Funds" post on Barron's?

Fundsters interested in looking back on Miller's investing record may want to read "The Long Climb and Steep Descent of Legg Mason's Top Stock Picker," in Jason Zweig's "Intelligent Investor" column in the WSJ. Reuters' Ross Kerber and Aaron Pressman offer their own analysis piece on Miller's record, titled "Bill Miller's fall shows luck at play in investing." And in MarketWatch's The Tell, Mark Hulbert opines that "Legg Mason's Miller should have quit while he was ahead."

The Financial Times' Dan McCrum interviews Miller, who insists that "success equals survival."

USA Today's John Waggoner uses Miller's step down to ask, "Should you stay or go when a fund manager splits?"

Financial News' Mike Foster even mourns "the capitulation of Bill Miller." And in Wall St. Cheat Sheet, Trade Marker writes that "Value Investor Bill Miller's Job Gets Downgraded at Legg Mason."

Several stories highlight Miller's anointed successor, Sam Peters, including:
  • "Legg Mason's Peters enters spotlight as Bill Miller steps down", Baltimore Business Journal;

  • "Meet the new CIO of the Legg Mason Value Trust fund", Financial News.

  • and the WSJ, in "Miller's Successor Talks of 'Continuity' and 'Performance.'"

  • Many publications played up Miller's former glory as the manager who guided Legg Mason Value Trust (now called Legg Mason Capital Management Value) to 15 straight years of beating the S&P 500. Such headlines include:
  • "Legendary Legg Mason fund manager stepping down," the Associated Press;

  • "Stock picker leaves fund: Legg Mason's legendary Bill Miller to hand over management of Value Trust to successor", the Baltimore Sun;

  • "Legendary investor Bill Miller is stepping down", CBS MoneyWatch;

  • "Legg Mason's Bill Miller Exits: Last Mutual Fund Rock Star?", CNBC story cited above;

  • Forbes heralds Miller's move as the "End of an Era";

  • "Star Fund Manager Bill Miller to Exit Legg Mason's Value Trust", FOXBusiness;

  • "Only 8 funds have beaten the S&P 500 for 10 years", Chuck Jaffe writes in MarketWatch's The Tell;

  • "Bill Miller: Spectacular results undone by financial crisis," Reuters Breakingviews;

  • and "Famed Stock Picker Bill Miller to Step Down from Legg Mason Value Trust", StreetInsider.com.

  • Other headlines focus on Miller's executive role as chief investment officer of Legg Mason Capital Management:
  • "Legg Mason Capital Management CIO to step down in April 2012", Banking Business Review;

  • "Legg Mason's Bill Miller quites CIO roles", FT Adviser;

  • "Miller to step down as Legg Mason Capital Management CIO", Investment Week in the UK;

  • "Miller to give up CIO role at Legg Mason", Pensions & Investments;

  • and "Legg Mason Capital Management's Chief Investment Officer Bill Miller to Step Down", RTTNews.
  • And then a number of headlines step up with the "just the facts" mantra:
  • "Bill Miller to Step Down From Legg Mason Value Trust", AdvisorOne;

  • "Long-time Legg Mason fund manager stepping down", the AP;

  • "Legg Mason's Miller stepping down from Value Trust fund", the Baltimore Business Journal;

  • "Legg Mason's Miller to step down from Value Trust", the Baltimore Sun;

  • "Bill Miller to quit as Legg Mason fund manager," CNN Money;

  • "Bill Miller to step down, cede control of flagship fund", FierceFinance;

  • "Miller hands over Legg Mason Value Trust", the Financial Times;

  • "Miller to hand over Value Trust in April", Fundweb in the UK;

  • "Bill Miller Stepping Down From Value Trust Fund", Morningstar's Fund Times column;

  • "Bill Miller Heads for the Exit", the Motley Fool;

  • "Bill Miller to Change Role at Legg Mason", the New York Times;

  • "Legg Mason's Miller to step down from main fund", Reuters;

  • "Legg Mason's William Miller to step down in April", Washington Post;

  • and "'Metronomic' Miller to make way for new face at Legg Mason", What Investment in the UK. 

    Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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