Long-time Legg Mason fund manager stepping down

NEW YORK (AP) ? The long-time investment manager of Legg Mason’s flagship mutual fund, Bill Miller, is stepping down next year.

After 30 years at the helm of the Legg Mason Value Trust, Legg Mason Capital Management said Thursday that Miller will cede the reins to co-manager Sam Peters. The company said that the transition had been in the works over the past several years.

Peters, 42, joined Legg Mason Capital Management in 2005 and was being groomed to take over for Miller; he was named co-manager of the Value Trust last year. Legg Mason Capital Management, a unit of Baltimore-based Legg Mason Inc., said Peters would also take over Miller’s role as chief investment officer.

Miller, 61, will stay on as chairman and manager of the Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity Trust.

“We recognized Sam as a potential portfolio manager for Value Trust when we hired him in 2005,” Miller said in a release. He said the transition was a “long and thoughtful” process.

Over the past year, Miller noted that he and Peters had made important adjustments to the construction of the Value Trust portfolio.

Legg Mason Capital Management, which specializes in long-term investing for institutional and retail clients, had $8.65 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30.