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Legg Mason to soft close $1.3 billion US small cap fund

by Eleanor Lawrie on Mar 21, 2014 at 11:12

Legg Mason to soft close $1.3 billion US small cap fund

The flagship $1.3 billion (£780 million)Legg Mason Royce US Small Cap Opportunity fund has reached 90% capacity and is expected to soft close in early summer, the company has said.

Managed by William Hench (pictured) and his team via subsidiary Royce Associates, the fund runs a diversified, value-driven strategy. At the end of January it held just over 300 small and micro caps positions.

Adam Gent, Legg Mason’s head of UK sales, said: ‘The Dublin dollar share class is $1.2-1.3 billion [£720-780 million] and we are looking at soft closing at $1.5 billion to protect existing investors.

‘The soft close means existing investors will still be able to access the fund.

‘The fund has done well and clients find it useful to access the US domestic market. Bill has a great track record and we are trying to keep the purity of the investment performance.’

Over five years to the end of January, the fund’s dollar share class has returned 248.5% compared with 173.2% from the Russell 2000 index.

On a shorter-term basis it is more in line, up 27.3% compared with 27% for the benchmark over one year.

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