He will also continue to serve on the Nominating & Corporate Governance, Finance and Compensation Committees, which he has done since he joined the Board of Directors in April 2013.
Kass succeeds W. Allen Reed, who was appointed non-executive Chairman of the Legg Mason Board in September of 2012. Reed successfully oversaw a strategic review of the Company’s business model and operations and chaired the Search Committee effort that led to the appointment of Joseph A. Sullivan as the Company’s CEO in February of this year. Reed will continue as a member of the Board and as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He has served as a Director of Legg Mason since 2006.
'I am pleased to pass the Chairman’s responsibilities to Dennis Kass, a highly regarded executive in the asset management industry who has the insights of both a large scale diversified asset manager and of an affiliate CEO. Dennis brings a unique perspective that will be valuable in the governance of Legg Mason and its affiliates. I look forward to working with Dennis, Joe and the rest of the Board to move the company forward', said Reed.
Sullivan said, 'In the short time I have worked with Dennis, I have been impressed with the insights he has on our industry and the opportunities he sees for Legg Mason. As we look to execute against our key priorities to grow and diversify Legg Mason’s revenues, Dennis will be an invaluable partner. We have also recently added two new Board members, John Murphy and John Meyers, who bring decades of experience to our already strong Board. I am very optimistic about what we can accomplish together'.
Sullivan added, 'On behalf of the Board, I would also like to express the Board’s appreciation to Allen Reed for the contributions he has made to our Company since stepping into the Chairman’s role last year. His guidance and focus have been an important factor in working with the executive team to develop the strategic plan and objectives that are now in place. We are fortunate to have a deep bench of talent on our Board'.
Background on Dennis Kass
Kass retired in 2012 as Chairman of Jennison Associates, an asset management company wholly- owned by Prudential Financial, Inc., having served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 2003-2011. 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.
Kass served in the Reagan Administration from 1985 to 1987 as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Pension and Welfare Benefits and was a Special Assistant to the President for Policy Development from 1981 to 1982. His early private sector roles included spending three years with Goldman Sachs as a Vice President in investment banking and pension advisory services.
Kass holds a MS degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA degree in History from Principia College. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation, serves on the Advisory Board for Finance and the Global Executive Board for M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management, and is on the board of the not-for-profit buildOn.