Legg Mason Managers Leave as Unit Folded Into ClearBridge

Legg Mason Inc.’s Mary Chris Gay, a portfolio manager at the division that was home to Bill Miller, has left as her unit is folded into the firm’s ClearBridge Investments equity affiliate after a decline in assets.

Gay, who ran the Legg Mason Capital Management Value Fund domiciled in Ireland, left May 15, Mary Athridge, a spokeswoman for Baltimore-based Legg Mason, said today in an e-mail. Randy Befumo, head of research at Legg Mason Capital Management, also left last week, Athridge said.

Legg Mason said in January it was folding the Legg Mason Capital Management division into ClearBridge Investments as assets tumbled. Miller, famed for beating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index for a record 15 years before his streak ended in 2006, stepped down last year from his Legg Mason Capital Management Value Trust fund, while staying as manager of Opportunity Trust fund.

The Value Fund previously managed by Gay, which is modeled on the U.S.-domiciled $2.4 billion Value Trust fund, will now be run by Sam Peters. Peters also manages the Value Trust fund formerly run by Miller. The Value Fund has returned 30 percent in the past year, ahead of 67 percent of peers, and the Value Trust fund has gained 32 percent, beating 52 percent of rivals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Legg Mason, led by Chief Executive Officer Joseph A. Sullivan, is reviewing its business and relationships with affiliates as it enters its sixth year of client redemptions.

Gay’s departure was reported earlier today by Investment Week.

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