Lightyear agrees to sale of real estate investment firm Clarion Partners

Lightyear Capital agreed to sell Clarion Partners Holding, a real estate investment firm, to Legg Mason, Inc. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. Clarion’s management team will stay with the firm.

Press Release

Lightyear Capital LLC, a New York-based private equity firm focused on financial services investing, today announced the sale of Clarion Partners Holdings LLC, a real estate investment firm, to Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE:LM), a global asset management firm. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016.

Founded in 1982, Clarion Partners is an SEC registered investment adviser and FINRA member firm, headquartered in New York. It has broad market reach in the Americas, with more than 280 employees in major markets throughout the U.S., Sao Paulo, Brazil and London, England.

With assets under management of approximately $40 billion, Clarion Partners manages private equity real estate across a broad range of products and strategies for 200 domestic and international institutional investors. The entire senior Clarion Partners management team will remain invested with the firm. Legg Mason will use Clarion Partners as their primary global real estate investment management platform and brand going forward.

Mark F. Vassallo, Managing Partner of Lightyear said, “With Clarion’s strong market position, the company has attracted the interest of one of the world’s largest global asset management firms. We are confident there is a bright future ahead for Clarion Partners.”

Donald B. Marron, Chairman and Founder of Lightyear added, “We have worked closely with Clarion management over the course of the past five years and are very pleased with the outcome of our fund’s investment in Clarion Partners.”

“We are thankful for Lightyear’s expertise and support and are excited about the significant opportunities ahead of us as a part of Legg Mason,” said Steve Furnary, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Clarion Partners.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP advised Lightyear Capital LLC and Clarion Partners Holdings LLC in connection with this transaction. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and King & Spalding LLP advised Clarion Partners Holdings LLC as financial advisor and legal counsel, respectively, in connection with this transaction. In addition, Grail Partners advised the senior management team of Clarion Partners Holdings LLC.

About Lightyear Capital LLC

Lightyear Capital LLC is a financial services-focused private equity firm based in New York. Lightyear, through its three affiliated private equity funds, has raised over $2.5 billion of capital and makes primarily control investments in North America-based, middle-market financial services companies. Lightyear targets investments across the financial services spectrum, including asset management, banks, brokerage, financial technology, insurance, and specialty finance. The firm brings strengths and discipline to its investment process, as well as operating, transaction, and strategic management experience, along with significant contacts and resources beyond capital. For more information, please visit