Legg Mason Inc. will be laying off about 20 people in its auditing department in Baltimore at the end of the year.

The Baltimore-based money manager plans to maintain a small auditing team whose work will be supplemented by a large accounting firm, the company said. The name of the firm was not disclosed.

The company employs 387 in Baltimore.

"By doing so, we have created a structure in which we have the flexibility to allocate resources across geographies as needed, tapping into the subject matter and product breadth expertise of our accounting partner, while maintaining a small core staff to ensure communication and institutional knowledge," the company said in a statement.

The transition is expected to take effect Jan. 1, said spokeswoman Mary Athridge. Employees who will lose their jobs may apply for other positions within the company, Legg said.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com