BOSTON Aug 7 Baltimore asset manager Legg Mason
Inc said it plans to shut down an international equities
investment unit, citing its small asset base of $500 million
Legg Mason said it will wind down trading activities at its
Esemplia unit, which has offices in London and Hong Kong, and
return money to investors.
"Given the firm's small size, we believe this decision best
serves both Esemplia's clients and LM's shareholders,"
spokeswoman Mary Athridge said in an emailed statement.
The move follows other steps to streamline Legg Mason taken
by its Chief Executive Joseph Sullivan since he was named to the
job permanently earlier this year. Last month, Sullivan said
Legg Mason had sold back to managers its small Private Capital
Legg Mason still plans to expand businesses that invest in
international equities, Athridge said. She said Legg Mason will
provide details on a possible financial impact of Esemplia's
closure on the parent.
Athridge said 25 jobs "will be made redundant" by the
closure of Esemplia, but those workers can apply for open
positions. Esemplia head Jim Kandunias will stay to ensure an
orderly closure in coming quarters, she said.
Legg Mason took over Esemplia as part of a broader deal with
Citigroup Inc in 2005.