FRANCE - Legg Mason Investments says it has opened a Paris representative office - to be followed by similar moves in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

"The opening of the Paris office is an initiative we aim to follow soon, in Germany and other Continental European countries," said Paul Boughton, managing director for Legg Mason Investments in Europe.

It named former BNP Paribas Asset Management fund analyst Mario Dumont as head of business development for France. He will report to Boughton.

"In his newly-created role, Mario's primary focus will be on marketing Legg Mason Global Funds and developing existing client relationships with banks, fund platforms, private banks and regional and global financial institutions that distribute proprietary and non-proprietary products in France," the firm said.

He will also cover other areas where French is spoken, such as Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Boughton said: "After 18 months of steady growth in assets under management for our French clients, we feel that the time is right for us to open a liaison office in Paris and to make a senior hire for the French market.”