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Legg, T. Rowe have stake in each other’s success

As two of the biggest kids on the block in the world of asset management, who just happen to live down the street from each other, it would be easy to believe a bitter rivalry has developed between T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Legg Mason Inc.

The companies have both been in downtown Baltimore for decades, and the founder and namesake of T. Rowe Price used to work for Legg Mason before leaving to start his own firm after becoming disillusioned. But, outside the occasional accusation of one executive trying to poach the other’s assistant, the heads of both companies consider themselves to be on friendly terms and share a mutual respect for the other’s company.

Instead of a heated rivalry, T. Rowe and Legg Mason have succeeded with little acrimony aside from healthy competition as they try their best to beat the market. And, if nothing else, the companies have a vested interest in making sure the other does well through mutual investments in the other.

According to a Dec. 31 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, T. Rowe Price was Legg Mason’s fourth-largest shareholder, owning about 6 percent of Legg’s stock. That amounts to more than 9 million shares.

Legg Mason, through its subsidiaries, owns shares of T. Rowe amounting to less than 1 percent — about 185,000 shares.