Legg Expects to Announce New Chief Executive Soon; Says Search is Progressing

Legg Mason Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Raymond "Chip" Mason said the firm expects to announce its new chief executive officer in the "reasonably near future" and that the search is moving along as planned.

Mason, 70, had announced he would retire at the end of this year, but he agreed to remain CEO after James W. Hirschmann III, the firm's president and chief operating officer, who was expected to succeed him as chief executive, said in April that he did not want the job.

Hirschmann, who had been president and COO for less than a year, instead has remained with the firm as CEO of Western Asset Management in Pasadena, Calif., Legg's largest subsidiary.

Legg said in April that it expected Mason to resume the role of president and lead the company for at least two more years, during which he and Legg's board would look for his successor.

Parent Joins Grail as Chief Investment Officer And Partner

William M. Parent has joined Grail Partners as a partner and chief investment officer.

"We are delighted to have Bill serve as the anchor of our investment team at Grail," said Donald H. Putnam, managing partner at the firm. "He has a deep background in the area of private equity, as well as corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions. Grail has a reputation for investing in and advising cutting-edge financial services companies, and we look forward to having Bill lead our investment team in the analysis of those investments."

Parent comes to the firm from private equity company DLB Capital, where he was a partner. He also co-headed a private equity division of Bank of America called BancBoston Capital, was director of the mergers and acquisitions group at BankBoston Financial and was western regional president of BancBoston Capital.

Sloane in Key Mutual Fund Position at The Hartford

Now that assets in its mutual fund family have surpassed $50 billion, double what it was three years ago, The Hartford has created the new position of senior vice president, mutual funds and 529 college savings plans. Accepting this new job is 23-year industry veteran Keith Sloane.

Sloane joins the retail products group at The Hartford after spending 12 years at Wachovia Securities, where he most recently was managing director of product marketing. During his time at Wachovia, Sloane also headed up the mutual fund business as well as marketing efforts for a wide variety of products, including 529 plans. Before that, he held a number of executive positions at PaineWebber over the span of 11 years.

"This is a very exciting time to join Hartford's mutual fund and 529 businesses," Sloane said. "I believe we have tremendous opportunity to accelerate our growth with such outstanding performance across the fund line-up and a strong and well-respected brand backing us up."

Rob Arena, senior vice president for the retail products group, commenting on the growth in the mutual fund assets under management and 38% increase in sales from last year, said: "Hitting these new asset and sales milestones and welcoming Keith to our powerful team mark two very important developments for our growing mutual fund business. We have great ambitions for our mutual fund business and believe we have the momentum, products and talent to continue to expand our position in the industry."

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