AMERICAS NEWS: Passing the baton

In an email to clients last month, Steve Furnary, chairman and chief executive at Clarion Partners, announced “it is time for me to pass the chief executive officer baton to Dave Gilbert,” the firm’s president and chief investment officer. But what does that mean for the firm?

1. Furnary is not leaving the business: As executive chairman, he will stay involved in the firm’s day-to-day operations and its financial, legal and compliance teams, and Gilbert will continue to report to him. He will be focused on enhancing the firm’s investment offerings, including working with clients; mergers and acquisitions relating to new business initiatives; and overseeing the firm’s relationship with its parent, Legg Mason.

2. Gilbert takes over as CEO on May 1: He is responsible for the firm’s main business functions, including investment, asset management and capital raising. However, he also remains CIO, and will continue to head Clarion’s investment research group.

3. Long time coming: The succession plan has been in the works for a number of years, Furnary said in his email. In November 2014, Gilbert was appointed president, a role that helped to groom him for the CEO post.

4. No replacement: Gilbert will be vacating his position as president as he assumes the CEO role, but Clarion is not expected to announce a replacement in the foreseeable future.

5. Curtain call after 35 years: Furnary founded the firm in 1982 with former Citibank colleague, John Weisz, while Gilbert joined in 2007.

6. Now the dust has settled: The senior transition comes about a year after the completion of a management-led recapitalization, wherein Baltimore-based asset management firm Legg Mason acquired a majority stake in Clarion for $585 million, with Clarion becoming the global real estate investment management platform for Legg Mason.