Legg Mason acquired most of Citigroup's asset management business in that $3.7bn asset swap executed earlier this year, and the firm is now moving to cut out the fat, to save on costs. Up to 400 jobs look likely to go.
In a US regulatory filing last week, Legg Mason revealed that it had set aside $30m to pay one-time termination benefits to employees who will lose their jobs. MarketWatch quotes an unnamed 'source familiar' with the situation, who said that up to 400 staff are likely to be culled. All termination payments will be made in cash. The layoffs will be completed within 12 months.
Raymond Chip' Mason, Legg Mason's chairman and CEO, said that his firm had 'worked exhaustively over the last several months to establish the proper structure and strategy for our integrated global operations'.
Finally, all eyes remain on Lazard boss Bruce Wasserstein. The jury is still out as to whether he is ahead of the game by throwing in his lot with activist investor Carl Icahn (in his quest to shake up Time Warner), or whether he is likely just to anger CEOs generally, and get no further business from the big boys. Or is Bruce just playing a canny game - CEOs might, of course, be inclined to hire him just to prevent him from working with activist shareholders, and shaking up their companies!
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