Activist investor Nelson Peltz has officially left Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM)’s board of directors, although his hedge fund remains the firm’s biggest shareholder. Last night the firm announced that Peltz was leaving and said he continues to hold 11.3% of its outstanding shares.
Nelson Peltz leaves Legg Mason’s board
Nelson Peltz had been serving as chairman for Legg Mason’s corporate governance committee, according to Reuters. He’s been on Legg Mason’s board of directors since October 2009. The Trian Fund Management CEO and founding partner is credited with assisting the firm in turning things around. Legg Mason recorded net quarterly withdrawals by customers for 19 quarters in a row until Peltz stepped in. Peltz also pressured Mark Fetting to step down as Chairman and CEO at Legg Mason, which he did in October 2012.
Peltz’s resignation from Legg Mason’s board of directors is effective immediately. A statement from Peltz said they continue to “remain an engaged shareholder for the foreseeable future.” A Legg Mason spokesperson said they don’t have any plans to fill the board seat vacated by Peltz.
The statement from Peltz’s firm said he is leaving Legg Mason’s board in order to “devote more time to other commitments, including service on current and future boards.” One board of directors Peltz has been angling to serve on is E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD). His firm has been pushing for board seats at the company and calling for the company to break up.
Nelson Peltz’s firm gains seat at Bank of New York Mellon
The Bank of New York Mellon Corp (NYSE:BK) also said today that it will give a seat on its board to Peltz’s firm Trian Fund Management. The bank said it wants to prevent a proxy battle with the hedge fund.
The settlement arrived only days before the deadline for director nominations, according to The New York Times. The Bank of New York Mellon is adding Edward Garden, Trian co-founder and chief financial officer, to its board as part of that settlement. The addition of Garden increases the bank’s number of board members to 14.
Nelson Peltz’s firm has been holding private talks with the Bank of New York Mellon for months since Trian disclosed its 2.6% stake in the bank.