Legg Mason to buy money manager QS Investors in equity push

Mar 4, 2014 @ 8:52 am

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Legg Mason Inc., the money manager that has struggled with more than five years of net redemptions, agreed to buy QS Investors, a global quantitative equity firm that split from Deutsche Bank AG in 2010.

Legg Mason affiliates Batterymarch Financial Management and Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation will be integrated into QS Investors, which has $4.1 billion in funds under management and $100 billion in advisory assets, the Baltimore-based firm said Tuesday in a statement. The transaction will result in costs of about $35 million to Legg Mason, which didn’t disclose the terms of the purchase.

Joseph A. Sullivan, who was named chief executive officer in February 2013, has reorganized businesses to cut costs while vowing to stem withdrawals by focusing on Legg Mason’s product lineup and improving performance. He has said he wants to fill gaps in global equities, multiasset offerings and alternatives such as private equity, real estate and natural resources. The firm hired Wells Fargo & Co.’s Thomas Hoops in January to look for potential acquisitions and develop products.

A year ago, Legg Mason made its first major purchase since 2005 with fund-of-hedge-funds business Fauchier Partners, which contributed about $5 billion in assets to its Permal unit. Mr.Sullivan has also said he wants to revise revenue-sharing agreements with affiliates, as he did with Permal. Legg Mason’s affiliates all operate independently with separate revenue- sharing agreements.

The purchase of QS investors is expected to close in the quarter ended June 30, or the first fiscal quarter for 2015, according to the statement. QS Investors, led by Janet Campagna, split from Deutsche Bank in 2010 so the bank could focus solely on managing fixed income for institutional investors, the company said at the time.

Mr. Campagna will be CEO of the integrated unit and QS Investors’ Rosemary Macedo will be chief investment officer. The firm, based in New York, offers customized solutions, global and U.S. equities, as well as liquid alternatives, and uses models to help make investing decisions.

(Bloomberg News)

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