Greg Johnson, 51, who will continue to be chief executive officer and president of the San Mateo, California-based firm, will assume the role of chairman at the close of business today, the firm said in a statement. His father was chairman since 1999 and president and CEO from 1957 to 2003, according to Matthew Walsh, a spokesman for the company.
The firm was founded in 1947 by Rupert Johnson Sr., whose two sons, Charles B. Johnson and Rupert H. Johnson Jr., still control about one-third of the company stock. Franklin went public in 1971 at a split-adjusted share price of 2.4 cents, according to company data, which means one dollar invested at the initial public offering is worth more than $6000.
Franklin, in a separate statement today, declared a three-for-one stock split to be paid in the form of a stock dividend.
Companies typically split their stock when they judge the share price has become too high for individual investors. Franklin’s shares returned 17 percent this year and 55 percent over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 20-member Standard & Poor’s index of asset managers and custody banks gained 26 percent in 2013 and 10 percent over the past five years.
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