Legg Mason Plans an Overhaul of its Fund Lineup
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Legg Mason Plans an Overhaul of its Fund Lineup

Legg Mason is looking at whittling down its current lineup of 142 mutual funds,reports the investment manager's hometown paper, The Baltimore Sun. At the same time, the company is targeting to launch two funds -- one that would invest in municipal bonds and another that would serve as a global allocation portfolio -- in the spring. It is also looking at creating other products that meet long-term retirement needs.

Matthew Schiffman, head of product and marketing at Legg Mason, told The Sun that the company began reviewing its product line last quarter and the result of the review will likely be seen in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Last year "was clearly off the chart from everyone's experiences and expectations," said Shiffman, who joined Legg Mason in November from Lincoln Financial (see The MFWire, 11/06/08).

"All of us, investors and money managers, stumbled out of 2008. ... We need to get back to the basics of getting people to the table and restoring confidence that long-term investing makes sense," he added.

According to Morningstar, Legg Mason clients yanked $21.8 billion from its stock and bond funds last year.

The last time Legg Mason reorganized its product line was in 2006, after it acquired funds as part of an asset swap with Citigroup. About a third of its funds were liquidated or folded into existing products.

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