The Fool Hearts Joe Sullivan's Way
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Fool Hearts Joe Sullivan's Way

It looks like there might be a few things you can learn from Joe.

Since assuming the helm of Legg Mason, CEO Joe Sullivan is making a turnaround at the formerly beleaguered fund firm.

His performance has even garnered praise from the Motley Fool, which declared that "Although Legg Mason is still trying to get its footing back from the shakeup from the financial crisis, the management team has done a fantastic job of putting the company back on track."

Fool writer Sean Dalton also notes that "for the first time since 2011, Legg Mason's Net Client Cash flows have gone positive."

For an asset management company, the ability to gradually stop client's withdrawals of funds and attract new investors is crucial for survival.

In 2012, LM suffered a loss of $27.5 billion worth of client cash flows, with a majority coming from redemptions and separate account flows. In FY 2013, LM had begun to patch the wound, losing only $11.7 billion worth of client cash flows. However, it seems like Legg's hard work on the sale desks has finally paid off, with a positive $8.3 billion in client cash flows for FY 2014.

This rise in organic client cash flows shows that Legg is finally starting to retain clients and win new business.

The Fool's Dalton also makes note of Legg's March acquisition of QS Investors which brought to Legg $4.1 billion AUM, and $100 assets under advisory, for $35 million.

Sullivan has been shaking up the firm's executive ranks, for example, hiring Thomas Hoops as executive vice president and head of business development.

Meanwhile, Fran Cashman and Jeffrey Mason have have supercharged Legg's sales operations.

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