Legg Mason opens Dublin office to minimise Brexit risks

Legg Mason has €26.5bn in Irish-domiciled funds

US asset manager Legg Mason has opened an office in Dublin as it seeks to ensure continuity of service for European clients ahead the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union in March 2019.

The asset manager – which already domiciles almost 80 funds in Dublin – opened the ‘Legg Mason Ireland’ office at Number One Ballsbridge this month.

The new Dublin team, headed by Penny Kyle, will be six-strong from January onwards, with additional hires to be made in 2019. Its functions will include oversight of investments, finance and risk.

Legg Mason has global assets under management of $742bn.

Established in 1997, Legg Mason Ireland is authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland as an alternative investment fund manager and Ucits management company.

“Ireland is a key strategic domicile for investment funds and is a committed member of the EU, providing full access to that market.”

Legg Mason has about €26.5bn in AUM across its Irish-domiciled fund ranges, offering strategies from the firm’s nine investment affiliates to clients globally in more than 25 countries.

Following the official office opening, Legg Mason plans to move the management and European distribution of its Irish fund ranges from a Legg Mason UK entity to Ireland in 2019.  Portfolio management for the Irish funds will continue to be delegated to the Legg Mason affiliates and will not be impacted.

To provide continuity of service to European clients, the existing European offices in Germany, Italy, Spain and France will become branches of Legg Mason Ireland.

Legg Mason Ireland has also applied for authorisation from the Central Bank of Ireland to offer individual portfolio management services to segregated account clients in the EU27 post-Brexit.  Portfolio management of such segregated accounts will be delegated to its nine independent affiliates, offering clients choice in terms of vehicles and strategies.

Legg Mason’s decision to expand its Dublin operation seeks to create continuity of service for European clients following the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union in early 2019.

Commenting on the launch, Penny Kyle said: “Ireland is a key strategic domicile for investment funds and is a committed member of the EU, providing full access to that market. Not only that, it also shares a clear cultural fit and strong regulatory regime, and does a great job at attracting business, as well as providing timely approvals for new products and other operational advantages.”

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