Investments  

Legg Mason to ‘integrate’ former Bill Miller unit

US fund giant Legg Mason is set to integrate its Legg Mason Capital Management (LMCM) unit with another equity-focused fund division, following years of investor outflows.

The group said ClearBridge, its largest equity fund subsidiary, had a “proven ability to seamlessly integrate investment teams whose investment philosophies and processes are similar to its own”.

Star manager Bill Miller oversaw the LMCM division in his heyday in which he consistently outperformed the S&P 500 index of US equities for 15 years until 2006 while at the helm of his giant Value Trust.

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At its height in 2007 the trust had just under $22bn of assets under management, but it had waned to just below $3bn in November 2011, according to research group Lipper. At the time, data showed Mr Miller had delivered an inflation-busting annual return of 11.25 per cent in the past 30 years.

But the manager stepped down from the trust last year following years of relative underperformance and investor withdrawals. He handed the portfolio to over Sam Peters - who is set to continue to lead the LMCM team after the ClearBridge integration.

The group said the addition of the LMCM strategies would not “impact” ClearBridge’s existing funds.

Mr Miller will continue to manage the LMCM Opportunity Trust fund in his capacity as managing member of LMM, LLC, a separate legal entity that he and Legg Mason established in 1999, and will not be joining ClearBridge, Legg Mason added.