Western Asset Management, the fixed-income affiliate of Legg Mason, has made three new additions to its team, meant to “broaden the firm’s lines of business and deepen its professional staff.”

In a Nov. 19 announcement, the Pasadena, Calif.-based asset manager said that Louis DiFranco, Powell Thurston and Christopher Orndorff have joined its ranks.

DiFranco has been named head of insurance services, a role in which he will lead and expand Western Asset’s $52 billion business in that market. He was most recently with BNY Mellon, where he was an executive vice president responsible for insurance, investment management and alternative fund client practices. Earlier in his career he worked at JPMorgan & Co. and at Deloitte & Touche.

Meanwhile, Thurston will serve as head of advisory services, where he will build a “dedicated effort to provide customized solutions for institutions in addressing complex issues elated to fixed-income instruments and derivatives, the statement said. Before taking on this role, he spent more than a decade at bond asset management firm PIMCO where he built the firm’s advisory business, as well as its CDOs and structured product lines during his earlier time there. His career experience also includes stints at Glass Oliver Economic Consultants and Vanguard.

Lastly, Orndorff has been assigned as a senior portfolio manager on Western Asset’s generalist team. The statement noted that he will focus on multi-sector and core/core full discretion portfolios, in addition to serving on the firm’s U.S. broad markets committee. He was previously with Payden & Rygel for nearly 20 years, where he was a managing principal and member of the executive team. From 1985-1990, he was with the Northern Trust Co.

As of Sept. 30, 2010 Western Asset has $469 billion in assets under management. The global firm offers its institutional and retail clients a full range of bond investment products.

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