Citi to buy Legg Mason trading unit

Source: Citi

Citi (NYSE: C) and Legg Mason, (NYSE:LM) today announced a definitive agreement in which Citi Global Wealth Management (GWM) would acquire the overlay and implementation business of Legg Mason Private Portfolio Group (LMPPG), which includes its managed account trading and technology platform.

Citi is the industry's top sponsor of Separately Managed Accounts (SMA) and this transaction makes GWM a leading implementation and overlay provider. Roger Paradiso, President and Chief Investment Officer, and Michael Scotto, Chief Investment Strategist, and their team will join Citi in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

As clients increasingly invest in Unified Managed Accounts (UMA) and other fee-based multi-asset class programs, this transaction represents an important strategic capability for GWM. The technology and talent will improve operating efficiencies and increase customization of GWM client portfolios. This transaction brings "overlay" capability in-house at Citi allowing portfolio construction utilizing SMAs, mutual funds and ETFs in a single account structure. In undertaking this transaction, Legg Mason continues its focus on providing asset management services in an open architecture environment. Over the past year, Legg Mason has increased its number of managers in Managed Account structures.

Legg Mason will continue to serve as a sub advisor in Smith Barney's Fiduciary Services program and in the existing Multi-Discipline Account Products (MDAs) it manages today, consistent with current arrangements. As future programs are built, Legg Mason investment managers may participate in Smith Barney's fee-based programs in SMA or mutual fund formats.

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