Following the sharp market downturn last year and steep investor redemption, Legg Mason is about to overhaul its entire mutual fund lineup of 142 funds, Matthew Schiffman, head of product and marketing at Legg Mason told The Baltimore Sun. And its no wonder, since Schiffman accepted the new position at Legg Mason in November, with the goal of creating a product innovation team.
As part of the reorganization, Schiffman plans to eliminate poorly performing funds and introduce two new funds by the spring, one a municipal bond fund and the other a global allocation fund-of-funds.
Schiffman said the markets poor performance is prompting all fund companies to rethink their lineups. All of us, investors and money managers, stumbled out of 2008, Schiffman said. We need to get back to the basics of getting people to the table and restoring confidence that long-term investing makes sense.
Legg certainly was hit with heavy redemptions in 2008, losing $21.8 billion from its equity and bond funds, the second-worst hit fund complex behind Fidelity Investments.
Legg last reorganized its fund lineup in 2006 by eliminating about one-third of its funds, following a swap deal with Citigroup.