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Rating:Janus Defends Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Janus Defends

Reported by Alfred Wang

Despite Janus's almost daily thumping in either the market or the media, Stilwell Financial's quarterly analyst meeting in New York City was upbeat.

Firstly, the parent company of both Janus and Berger trumpeted the announcement of its bond sale; the expected proceeds of $600 million will be used to acquire Janus stock in a preventative move designed to keep portfolio managers at Janus.

Marketing units also received a boost when Stilwell executives emphasized that cost-cutting measures stopped at operations, citing the need to keep the Janus and Berger brands in front of retail investors. Investment units were reassured similarly when Landon Rowland, president and chief executive officer of Stilwell, indicated to analysts the 15% increase in the investment team staff since January 2000.

Executives also dismissed net outflow as a red herring. Although $3.6 billion left the firm in the first quarter, $60 billion in inflows dwarfed the outflow phenomenon, according to Doug Nickerson, Stillwell's controller. "There's certainly a lot of retail investor handholding in hard times," said Nickerson, observing the importance of shareholder communications and good fund performance.

The number of shareholder accounts held relatively steady, at approximately 6 million at Janus and 260,000 at Berger. Currently, 53 percent of Stilwell's fund products are distributed through third parties, 28 percent are sold direct through the retail channel, and 19 percent are distributed through non-proprietary channels.  

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