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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Sullivan's Bold Move Intrigues the Press

News summary by MFWire's editors

Nothing like a gutsy corporate move to grip the imagination of the stodgy financial press.

When news broke yesterday that Legg Mason [profile] CEO Joe Sullivan was winding down its $500 million emerging market equities boutique, Esemplia Emerging Markets, reporters took notice.

Sullivan's bold act has been covered by Reuters, Businessweek, Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, Pensions & Investments,Financial News, and FT Adviser.

Of course, there were post-game analytics.

For example, a Bloomberg News writer argues that Esemplia is being closed due to bad performance. Alexis Leondis writes that Legg Mason is trying to undo the damage of net redemptions due to weakness in its equity units.

Esemplia's Legg Mason Emerging Market Fund fell 4.1 percent over the past five years and fell 6.3 percent over the past three years. Its three year performance has been behind 89 percent of its peers, according to Bloomberg News.

Further the Bloomberg News writer notes that Sullivan has shown interest in developed and emerging market stock funds, stating he wanted to add a non-U.S. equity unit in June.

Sullivan has claimed he is comfortable with the idea making an acquisition "every day", so we will see if Sullivan acquires an emerging market or developed market stock fund unit soon. Legg Mason has been in the selling mood of late just last month the firm sold its Private Capital Management unit.

To read InvestmentNews' take on the story, click here

Edited by: Casey Quinlan

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