Asset manager Legg Mason Inc is preparing to name its interim head, Joseph Sullivan, as permanent chief executive, said two people familiar with the matter.

Sullivan, 55, became interim CEO of the Baltimore fund firm when Mark Fetting stepped down under pressure in the fall. He was seen by insiders as the leading contender for the post.

Legg Mason is likely to announce its CEO decision as soon as Wednesday and is also likely to soon name a new board member with a background in the asset-management industry, these people said.

Legg Mason spokeswoman Mary Athridge declined to comment on Tuesday and said Sullivan and board chair W. Allen Reed were not available to comment. The people familiar with the matter spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press.

(Reporting By Ross Kerber; Editing by Gary Hill)