Legg Mason Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph A. Sullivan visited the Carey Business School last fall to meet with student, faculty, and school leaders, sitting for a one-on-one interview with Senior Lecturer Demir Yener before an audience of graduate finance students.
The hour-long conversation, which included a Q-and-A with the students, covered a variety of topics including particulars about Legg Mason’s history, business model, and future outlook; trends and the current future state of the global and domestic financial markets; and what Sullivan and Legg Mason look for in prospective employees.
On the final point, Sullivan said Legg Mason is looking for more than just numbers-crunching analysts, although having those skills is important. He said the company values employees who possess a well-rounded skill set, which includes leadership and communication.
“To me, there is a difference between information and insight. Human beings can offer insight and judgement in a way that is different than technology can. Your ability to interpret, inform, and provide insight and judgment is what will distinguish you,” Sullivan said.
He later added: “More education is great, but we expect people to be smart and to understand how to be an analyst. The hard part is to drive insight and to inform. We are looking for leaders; we are looking for people who have capacity and can do a lot.”
Founded in 1899, Legg Mason is an asset management firm with $710 billion under management at the end of 2016. The company is headquartered in Baltimore and employs approximately 3,400 people at 40 locations worldwide. Sullivan, who joined Legg Mason in 2008, has been CEO since October 2012.
Sullivan visited the Carey Business School as part of the Executives in Residence Program in which top-level executives from a variety of high-profile companies visit the school to interact with students, faculty, staff, and school leaders. Since the program’s launch in 2014, more than 30 executives have visited Carey’s campus.
— Luke Lavoie