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Legg Mason reaches deal with activist hedge fund Trian

Claudia Assis

Legg Mason Inc. said late Monday it has appointed Nelson Peltz and Ed Garden of activist hedge fund Trian Fund Management to the company's board, effective immediately, increasing the size of the board to 12 from 10. Peltz is Trian's chief executive officer and founding partner, and Garden is Trian's chief investment officer and also a founding partner. Trian Partners owns about 4.5% of Legg Mason's stock. Trian will also get to nominate a third independent director who, pending board approval, will be included as a director nominee on the slate of nominees recommended by the board at the annual meeting. The board will appoint or nominate at least two other independent candidates, the company said. The three new independent directors will replace three incumbent directors, two of whom have reached the company's retirement-age guidelines, it said.The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that Legg Mason was nearing a settlement with Trian to avoid a proxy fight, with Trian pressuring for cost cuts and other measures.