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Legg Mason looks to set up onshore US small cap fund

Legg Mason is seeking FSA approval for an onshore version of its highly rated US small cap fund, which has returned 102 per cent since launch in November 2001.

The new fund, due to launch in March, will be run by Chuck Royce, who manages the existing Dublin-domiciled fund through his New York-based company Royce & Associates, a Legg Mason subsidiary. Although there will be many similarities between the two, the onshore fund will invest primarily in 70-80 small and mid-cap firms, unlike the offshore version, which targets small and micro caps.

In line with most other groups, the annual charge will be 1.5 per cent. Initial commission is 4.25 per cent and trail 0.5 per cent.

The fund&#39s launch will come just months after Legg Mason transferred the management of its UK and European funds to another US subsidiary, Batterymarch, in order to focus on distribution. It will still launch funds according to customer demand but will have no input in the way they are managed.

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “We have been waiting a long time for Legg Mason to launch this fund so we are delighted.”

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