Legg Mason chairman and chief executive officer Mark Fetting is stepping down from his roles at the asset manager on October 1.
Fetting will remain as a consultant to the company for the remainder of 2012.
The group has appointed head of global distribution Joseph Sullivan as interim chief executive officer while the board searches for a permanent CEO.
Independent director Allen Reed will become non-executive chairman. Reed has been a director of Legg Mason since 2006. He previously served as chairman, president and CEO of General Motors Asset Management Corporation and chairman and CEO of General Motors Trust Bank.
Fetting says: “The opportunity to lead Legg Mason through a crucial period of its history has been both challenging and fulfilling. I am very proud of our progress and accomplishments during the past five years. Now is the right time for new leadership to take the baton and continue to move the company forward into its next phase of growth and development.”
Reed says: “Since early 2008, Mark Fetting has led Legg Mason through a very challenging period of turmoil in the global financial markets and major changes in the asset management industry. During this period, he has been instrumental in reducing the company’s cost structure, improving its balance sheet and liquidity and positioning the company for future growth. On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Mark for his dedication and his many contributions to Legg Mason.”