Bill Miller is leaving Legg Mason after more than three decades.
The stock picker, famed for beating the S&P 500 Index for 15 straight years when he ran the Legg Mason Value Trust, is buying Legg Mason’s stake in LMM LLC, the fund company through which he now runs the $1.3 billion Legg Mason Opportunity Trust, the Miller Income Opportunity Trust and related strategies. Terms weren’t disclosed.
The purchase ends his affiliation with Legg Mason. Miller, a value investor known for his bullish views of the economy and stock markets, became Legg Mason’s star manager when he beat the market every year from 1991 through 2005. He became mired in the worst slump of his career when he wagered heavily on financial stocks during the 2008 financial crisis. Value Trust lost 55 percent that year.
“Bill has been an important part of the growth and success of Legg Mason over the years and we appreciate his many contributions,” Joseph A. Sullivan, Legg Mason’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. “Today’s announcement is consistent with Legg Mason’s strategy of focusing on our nine diverse managers with size and scale that can be leveraged across global distribution.”
Miller stepped down from Value Trust in April 2012 and now focuses on its smaller counterpart, the Opportunity Trust. In 2014, he started the Miller Opportunity Trust with his son, a fund that has about $92 million in assets.
LMM, which was started in 1999 and was 50 percent owned by Miller and Legg Mason, will continue to oversee both funds. There will be no changes to the investment team. The firm had $1.8 billion under management as of July 31.
“This transaction affirms my ongoing commitment to managing our funds and to our investors,” Miller said in the statement. “I am thankful to Legg Mason for our 35-year relationship and to the many great people I’ve worked with along the way.”
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