Legg Mason appoints Joseph A. Sullivan as CEO
14 February 2013
By Asia Asset Management
The board of directors of Legg Mason announced on Thursday (February 14) that it has appointed Joseph A. Sullivan president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors, effective immediately. In addition, it announced that Dennis M. Kass, a veteran leader in the asset management industry, will join the Legg Mason board, effective April 1.
Since October 1, 2012, Mr. Sullivan has served as Legg Mason’s interim chief executive officer. He joined Legg Mason in 2008 as senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer, and more recently, served as head of global distribution.
W. Allen Reed, Legg Mason’s non‐executive chairman, who led the board's search committee, said: "Following a very comprehensive search, that considered a broad list of highly qualified candidates, Joe was deemed by the board to have the best combination of personal management skills and professional experience to lead Legg Mason forward. The selection process included not only the search committee and the board, but also the leaders of our affiliate managers and senior corporate leadership.
“Over the past four months, since being named interim CEO, Joe has acted with a sense of urgency and clarity of purpose,” said Mr. Reed. “We have been impressed that he is bringing a fresh perspective and renewed energy to Legg Mason, has a clear vision for the company and has demonstrated an ability to address the challenges and opportunities necessary to regenerate the growth of Legg Mason. The board is unanimously aligned with the direction Joe wants to take the company and believes his no‐nonsense management style will enable a fast start on the path to rebuilding Legg Mason as a premier asset management company. Importantly, Joe has developed a relationship with the affiliate leadership teams that the board believes will enable a collaborative and mutually beneficial process that begins a new and exciting chapter in Legg Mason’s history. He’s earned the confidence of the entire firm and is ready to lead Legg Mason as its new CEO.”
Mr. Sullivan said: “I am honored to have been selected as Legg Mason’s new CEO, optimistic about our growth prospects, and fully committed to and believe in the Legg Mason affiliate business model. One of my top priorities when I assumed the interim role in October was to bring our executive team, our affiliate leadership, and our board together to create a shared vision for Legg Mason.
“That shared vision centers primarily on growth and we are firmly committed to working together toward that important goal,” added Mr. Sullivan. “We will seek to do this organically and through acquisitions of teams and firms that build and diversify our affiliate managers and fill our product gaps. And, as always, we will also continue our efforts to be more efficient across all business functions.
In addition to his positions at Legg Mason, Mr. Sullivan also serves as a current Trustee and former Chair of the Securities Industry Institute, was a former chair of the Fixed Income Committee of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), a board member of the Bond Market Association and a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Hearing Board.
Mr. Kass retired in 2012 as CEO of Jennison Associates, an asset management company wholly‐owned by Prudential Financial, having served in this position since 2003. Previously, he had spent more than a decade with JP Morgan’s investment management unit, culminating in the position of vice chairman of JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management.
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