is firing up the after burners.
The multi-boutique asset manager, according to its newly-released fourth quarter and fiscal year earnings for the periods ending March 31, 2014
, saw its assets jump to $701.8 billion, up 6 percent from March 31, 2013.
Legg saw a record sales of $65 billion in 2014, a 15 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
The firm's U.S. sales co-heads, Francis Cashman
and Jeff Masom
, have been charged with doubling the firm's sales within five years.
They intend to do so by hiring 40 more sales folk, kicking up Legg's channel strategies and focusing like a laser beam on the ripest targets.
Masom described Legg's evolutionary process in this way:
If you think where we came from, which was a proprietary distribution shop, and how we have evolved over the last eight years. This is a natural evolution given where we've been. As we continue to build out these channels and new clients,w e've had success. We think we can have continued success. We also recognize that more resources and also a differentiated selling approach can help us elevate the success they we have had.
Legg's planned 40 new hires will break down, roughly, in this way.
On the retail side, Cashman's side, the firm will hire 30 individuals. Cashman said described these hires as "all selling resources, and so, they range from being what we call regional directors would be either out in the field or centralized in Stamford, Connecticut to additional selling resources that would be team-orientated supporting these territories. "
"We absolutely believe that sell is done not only face-to-face, but also over the phone. We have great confidence in that model. It has been working of us for over two years now," she said.
Meanwhile, on the national accounts and institutional side, Mason's side, Legg will add 11 people net.
"Generally, we are searching for folks who are more analytical and are capable of selling in an institutional manner. CFA-type folks. Four of these are in the RIA channel. The thinking applies as well as on the DC I-O and sub-advised channel," he said.
After the 40 people are hired, Legg will have over 110 client facing sales people in the retail side-- representing a 20 to 20 percent increase of the sales team -- and 55 client-facing folks in the national accounts side -- a roughly 20 percent increase.
This is how Legg will deploy sales people throughout the country. Cashman said that the firm will operate six territories with teams of two. Essentially, she said, they will have six territories covered via a team-based approach. This will include a regional sales director in the territory and a sales director out of the home office supporting this person on the field. The Stamford sales directors will help find targets and providing client services, She said. However, they will not be saddled with administrative tasks. These will be addressed by staffers in other parts of the firm.
Beefed Up Channelization
Legg continues to evolve its channel strategies, a subject that Cashman has been working on since 2011 for Legg
In short, Legg divides its sales efforts into what its called, channelized, deep-channelized and cross channelized. For example, Legg differentiates between major metro areas which are decentralized, compared to major population areas that are not.
The key, as always, is in finding the right synchronization between the field folk and the cross-channel teams in Stamford. Cashman said that they are developing their own special mixes that have proven especially fruitful.
"The evolution of the cross-channel team has been very successful. It has given us the confidence to not only to continue to expand, but to do so in in very creative ways that others in the industry have not considered," she said.
Like a Laser Beam
Cashman and Masom devoted three quarters to some deep Big Data dives, identifying targets on which to focus.
For instance, Legg's data has found that ten percent of the advisors represent 50 percent of the opportunity feet. About 27 percent of the advisors represent 75 percent of the opportunities. Meanwhile, Cashman said, 20 percent of the geography across the country represent 80 percent of the opportunity.
"It matters who you target. Calling on the right people, in the right way, makes a big difference," she said.
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