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Legg Mason to shutter London-based boutique

Legg Mason Inc. announced Wednesday it would be shutting down its London-based emerging markets boutique and returning money to investors.

Esemplia Emerging Markets manages $500 million in assets, not large enough to keep operating, Legg said. The firm, acquired in 2005 when Legg took on Citigroup's asset management business, will wind down over the next couple of quarters. Twenty-five employees stand to lose their jobs.

The Baltimore-based money managers said it is still interested in building its international equity business. "We are looking at a number of ways to do that, including the acquisition of a partner with a strong investment track record who can leverage our global distribution organization, building that capability within our existing scale affiliates or a combination of the two," Legg said in a statement.

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