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Monday, June 27, 2005

Will Other Brokerages Sell off Assets?

by: Theresa Sim

The Citigroup-Legg Mason asset swap may just be the start of large brokerage deal-mania, speculate sources in the Wall Street Journal.

While the trend of de-diversification in the financial services industry is widespread and well-known, Don Putnam, head of Grail Partners LLC, tells the Journal that he has seen at least four other large brokerages consider selling their asset management units this year and expects six similar deals in the next few years.

What drove the Legg Mason decision? "For two years we've been looking to cross the line and become pure asset management," said Raymond "Chip" Mason, chairman of Legg Mason, told the Journal. "All the regulators have been pointing toward the need to separate the manufacturing and distribution businesses."  

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