Magazine article American Banker

Legg Mason Buying Another Money Manager for Rich

Magazine article American Banker

Legg Mason Buying Another Money Manager for Rich

Article excerpt

Legg Mason Inc., continuing its campaign to attract high-net-worth investors, is buying another money management firm that serves the wealthy.

Barrett Associates Inc., based in New York, oversees $2 billion in portfolios of high-net-worth individuals and institutions. It will be the fourth such firm acquired by Legg Mason, but the first that will be a subsidiary of Legg Mason Trust FSB. In September 1999, the Baltimore regional brokerage firm obtained a nationwide thrift charter allowing it to provide trust services.

"The strategic vision is to diversify into the high-net-worth arena by providing a full range of financial services," said Jennifer Reynolds, vice chairman and chief investment officer of Legg Mason Trust.

In 1994, Legg Mason bought Gray, Siefert & Co. of New York. In 1996, it bought Cincinnati-based Bartlett & Co., and last year it bought Berkshire Asset Management Inc. of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Legg Mason has also been hunting for institutional money managers in Europe. Last December it bought the London retail fund manager Johnson Fry Holdings (subsequently renamed LeggMason Investors), and this May it bought Perigee Inc., a Canadian pension management firm. The company has said it is considering more purchases of European money managers for its institutional side.

Ms. Reynolds said that Barrett Associates will contribute investment and research capabilities to Legg Mason Trust. Barrett's investment team will be combined with that of the trust company, which will adopt Barrett's large-cap growth equity investment strategy, she said. …

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