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Rating:Does Janus Need More Change, or Less? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Does Janus Need More Change, or Less?

News summary by MFWire's editors

Chief executive Dick Weil and chief investment officer Enrique Chang have their work cut out for them at Janus, according to Morningstar senior analyst Greg Carlson.

Both executives, Carlson writes, are implementing some changes to right Janus' ship, and indeed they have had some successes.

However, the firm needs stability, and soon, according to Carlson, who gave the firm a "D" in corporate culture.

To the successes, Carlson notes that the Janus fixed-income team has strengthened, as has subsidiary Perkins. PM ownership in funds remains high, and its central equity research team is "fairly tenured."

However, change has become a constant at Janus, which has seen five CEOs since 2002, and lost three high-profile PMs in 2013.

Carlson writes this on the situation:

But change has since been a near constant at Janus for more than a decade, and while evolution can be a good thing, it takes time for fund shops to establish a comfort level with investors in relation to organizational stability and investment excellence.

To-be-sure, Weill, who joined Janus from Pimco in 2010, has been busy trying to stabilize the firm, focusing on investment "excellence" and relationships. For instance, Carlson notes the firm's move away from direct access to sales via the advisor and institutional channels.

Other initiatives include bringing in an alts team in 2012 to launch the firm's first alternatives product.

Meanwhile, Chang's efforts have included pushes to make Janus PMs, according to Carlson, "more-buttoned-down." For example. Carlson writes, fund managers are now must "write an investment policy statement outlining its entire process, including research, portfolio construction, and trading."

He has also pushed some managers to be more pure in their investing styles and pare down their cash stakes, i.e. under 3 percent or so.

Carlson approves of Weil's and Chang's efforts but warns that investors crave stability from the firm.

And while Chang’s initial changes could have a positive impact, it's clear that Janus still has some work to do in nurturing its culture on the equity-fund side.

It will take some time--and, more importantly, continued strong performance and organizational stability--before Janus can stake its claim as a premier investment shop again.

Read more of Carlson's analysis here

Edited by: Tommy Fernandez

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