"We have a saying around here, everybody is from Missouri," Joe Sullivan
, CEO of Baltimore-based Legg Mason
], tells the Baltimore Business Journal
. "Missouri is the 'Show Me State.' Everybody says we hear you but we want to see it."
Sullivan reportedly shared that tidbit yesterday after the publicly traded, multi-boutique asset manager's annual meeting.
At the meeting, Sullivan talked to Legg Mason shareholders about the disconnect between Legg's stock price (down 18 percent year-to-date) and its result (volatile but trending up flows, growth through acquisitions (spending more than $1 billon in recent years), an increasingly diversified base of investment products, and rising AUM ($744.6 billion as of June 30, up more than 15 percent over the past five years, i.e. since Sullivan took over
"It's hard for people to kind of get their arms around how well we're doing," Sullivan reportedly said at the meeting. "The flows on a quarterly basis, they're pretty volatile. But the trend over the last five years has been up."
"That to us feels like a disconnect between our stock price and what we are actually delivering," Sullivan added.
After the meeting, after sharing the Missouri tidbit, Sullivan described the mentality as fair.
"We have to deliver and we have to show them," Sullivan said. "What we see is the underlying tone of our business is much better than the message you'd get from our share price."
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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