Janus Fund Manager To Step Down

October 22, 2007

Marketwatch reports that Janus Fund (JANSX) is getting a new manager:

David Corkins, a 12-year veteran of Janus and manager of its flagship Janus Fund (JANSX) and other large-cap growth stock-fund vehicles, will leave the Denver-based company effective Nov. 1."

The Janus fund has posted better returns than a large cap growth index and similar funds since early 2006 when Corkins took over management, so his departure is not due to unsatisfactory performance, but rather that old Janus internal management turmoil that we used to know and hate (Janus recently announced that Scott Schoelzel, manager of Janus Twenty's [JAVLX], will be leaving at the end of the year). Maybe Corkins has his eye on a big hedge fund salary.

It's a good idea for owners of a fund that has changed management to keep a close eye on their investment. Bringing in a new manager to a mutual fund is kind of like starting a new quarterback in the NFL: investors are hoping for a hall-of-famer like Tom Brady, but they might end up with a washout like Ryan Leaf. New fund management can bring a entirely different investment approach, so much so that you could look at the Janus Fund after November 1st as an entirely different investment than the one it was under Corkins.

In this case we don’t think there is going to be a change for the worse here – we like the new managers and have other funds they manage in our MAXadvisor Powerfund Portfolios - but you can expect our ratings for the Janus Fund ratings to change slightly here in coming months (fund manager turnover generally hurts our custom quantitative ratings).


Janus Back In The Game

July 30, 2007

Just a year or so after we slammed Janus in 2000 as being a fund family to avoid, investors started to withdraw money from the formerly hot fund family. Those redemptions accelerated as Janus' Go-Go growth funds tanked and the run for the exits really kicked in to overdrive when it became known that Janus was tainted in the fund timing scandal.

Apparently Janus just had their first quarter with net new money into Janus-managed funds in six years. While it’s no longer the $10 billion-a-month and up Janus of yesteryear, at least they are back in the game:

Janus reported on Thursday its core funds attracted $1.5 billion in long-term net inflows in the second-quarter, the first quarterly net inflows since 2001. It also posted a 57 percent jump in second-quarter profit, beating analysts' expectations.

Janus, which is focused on the 'growth' style of investing, started to see outflows from its funds when the tech bubble burst in 2000-01 and 'growth' style went out of favor.

The outflows worsened when Janus was caught up in the industry-wide mutual fund trading scandal of 2003-04, leading to a change in management."

These days there are three fund families with around a trillion or so in assets – Fidelity, Vanguard, and American Funds. Fortunately for Janus, strong markets and solid fund performance has carried them back to just under $200 billion. For comparison, Dodge and Cox has almost this much money in just four funds, and Janus had over $300 billion before the fall.

We’ve actually been recommending a few Janus funds in recent years, and list quite a few in our quarterly favorite fund report (free for subscribers of the MAXadvisor Powerfund Portfolios).


Attempted Letter Bombing at Janus

February 16, 2007

Some nut has targeted Janus Capital in a letter bomb attack:

The first explosive device was found by an employee in an investment firm's mail room in Kansas City. The package contained a pipe bomb.

The second bomb was sent to Janus Capitol Group in Denver, but was rerouted to Chicago. Neither bomb exploded.

"This case is our top priority. We are very serious about solving this case. We put all of our top people on this investigation," said postal Inspector Paul Trimbur.

The person responsible for the bombs has identified himself as "The Bishop." He may be linked to other threatening letters sent to financial institutions over the past 18 months, officials said."


We sure hope it had nothing to do with Janus' appearance in our Six Annual Mutual Fund Turkey Awards this year:

Share The Wealth…And The Losses: Janus Olympus

Olympus merged with Janus Orion (JORNX), bringing with it billions in tax-loss carry-forwards from the tech crash. Now slightly less unfortunate Orion shareholders get to benefit from these Olympus losses. (The portfolio manager can realize gains and wipe them out with losses to minimize year end taxable distributions to shareholders). Both fund shareholders are now in a bigger fund that’s slightly more difficult to manage. What about fees? They remain the same. Chalk up one more tech-wreck track record swept under the rug. It’s win-win…for Janus.

Heck, they were only an honorable mention. ...read the rest of this article»

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