The Board of Directors at Legg Mason Inc. has elected James W. Hirschmann as the new president, effective  May 1. Raymond A. "Chip" Mason, who is the president, CEO and chairman, will continue in his role as chairman when Hirschmann takes on his role.

Currently, Hirschmann is the CEO of Western Asset Management, which is Legg Mason's largest subsidiary by assets under management.

This move comes after last month's election of Cheryl Gordon Krongard to the company's Board of Directors.

"The preparation of a new generation of leadership for the company is an important responsibility. The board has focused on succession planning for some time as a key component of corporate governance," said Nicholas St. George, Legg Mason's lead independent director. "We reached a unanimous conclusion that Jim is the right person to become president of the company."

Succeeding Hirschmann at Western Asset Management is Daniel Fleet.

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