- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 2, 2006

James Hirschmann knows how to manage people as well as money. As the new president of Legg Mason Inc., the global asset management firm, he will be doing both.

Legg Mason promoted Mr. Hirschmann to president, putting him in line to succeed founder Raymond “Chip” Mason, who built the regional stockbroker into the nation’s fifth-largest money manager.

Mr. Mason, 69, will remain chairman and chief executive officer of the Baltimore-based company. Mr. Hirschmann, 45, who now serves as chief executive officer of Legg Mason’s Western Asset Management bond unit, will start his new job on May 1.

“I look forward to working closely with the rest of Legg Mason’s talented and experienced senior management team,” said Mr. Hirschmann.

Legg Mason is preparing for Mr. Mason’s eventual retirement three months after it swapped its brokerage for Citigroup Inc.’s asset-management unit in a transaction valued at $3.7 billion. The deal more than doubled Legg Mason’s assets to $850 billion.

Mr. Hirschmann plans to spend a lot of time integrating Citigroup’s fixed-income business into Western Asset, the nation’s third-largest bond manager. He also plans to work on broader integration issues both in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Mason praised Mr. Hirschmann’s work at Western Asset.

“The board and I are confident that Jim’s outstanding track record at Western Asset, strong character traits and proven management skills will provide Legg Mason with both an outstanding president and future leader,” said Mr. Mason.

Mr. Hirschmann joined Western Asset, Legg Mason’s largest business unit, in April 1989. In 1995, he led Western Asset’s acquisition of Lehman Brothers Global Asset Management in London. In 1997, he moved to London to further the company’s international business and integrated United States and British operations.

He was appointed president and CEO of Western Asset in 1999. Daniel Fleet, 48, will succeed him there.

Mr. Hirschmann, 45, lives in Los Angeles.

Walter Frick

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