Franklin Resources Inc., the biggest publicly traded money manager by market value, Tuesday promoted four executives to a new office of the president, paving the way for succession at the family-run firm.
Among those promoted were two sons of Chairman Charles B. Johnson, 66. Chuck Johnson, 43, is president of Templeton Worldwide Inc. and Greg Johnson, 38, is president of Franklin Templeton Distributors Inc. The others were Martin Flanagan, 39, chief financial officer, and Allen J. Gula, 45, chief information officer.
"It will give the younger executives the opportunity to develop their skills," said Charles Johnson, whose San Mateo, Calif.-based firm manages about $218 billion. "I will remain as chief executive with only the four of them reporting to me," rather than the dozen or so executives that he now oversees.
Johnson is known as a hands-on manager. Until 1980, he insisted on approving every check.
Analysts said the reorganization makes sense.
"Charlie is approaching an age where it is natural that succession comes into play," said Burton Greenwald, a money-management consultant.
Henry McVey, an analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., upgraded Franklin's market-lagging stock to "outperform" from "neutral," with a target of $40.