Money manager Legg Mason Inc. is nearing a settlement with Trian Fund Management LP that would give the activist hedge fund three or four seats on its board and avoid a proxy fight, according to people familiar with the matter.
The talks could still fall apart, the people cautioned—but should the two sides reach a deal, it could be announced soon.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Trian may launch an activist campaign, has recently held discussions with Legg Mason management about the need to cut costs and improve margins and that a proxy fight was a possibility.
Should a deal come together, it would be Trian’s second time gaining access to the board of Legg Mason, which has $758 billion in assets under management. Trian previously owned Legg Mason stock from 2009 to 2016 and co-founder and Chief Executive Nelson Peltz sat on the Baltimore firm’s board before stepping off in 2014.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.