Legg Mason has suffered its third resignation in as many weeks, following the recruitment of economist Brian Parker by MLC.

Parker, who has been at Legg Mason (formerly Citigroup Asset Management) since 1997, becomes investment strategist within MLC’s capital markets research team. He will have a special focus on the strategic overlay process which is being applied to MLC’s new ‘Long Term Absolute Return Portfolio’, Chris Condon, MLC chief investment officer, said yesterday. Parker’s resignation follows that of Legg Mason chief investment officer, Michael Wood, and head of property securities, Stuart Cartledge. Wood has been quickly replaced by Legg Mason’s head of European equities, Reece Birtles, who has returned to Australia, while Cartledge has been succeeded by his deputy of several years, Ashton Reid. The Legg Mason changes followed the takeover of Citigroup Asset Management worldwide last year, in a deal prompted by the trend for global financial services firms to better separate their broking operations from asset management. Parker said in a prepared statement yesterday: “Whenever I’ve presented to clients over the past few years, I’ve tended to talk about the power of diversification, the benefits of active management, the importance of thinking long term, and just how tough it is to try and pick shorter-term market movements. All of that is consistent with the way MLC manages clients’ money and I am delighted to be joining their team.”

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