The surprise hiring of famed bond fund manager Bill Gross by Janus Capital Group is “clearly a black swan event” that should help the asset manager regain its stature, said one of its top investors, portfolio manager John Miller of Ariel Investments.
“We think it’s fantastic news,” Miller said in a telephone interview on Friday.
Janus Capital shares were up sharply in morning trading on investor enthusiasm that Gross’ arrival could help rejuvenate the Denver asset manager.
Janus was known for its high-flying equity funds but took big hits in the technology crash and later in the financial crisis. Its chief executive officer, Dick Weil, had once worked with Gross at Pimco.
Gross’ arrival “will provide the firm with a very unique opportunity to offer global macro fixed income strategies and products that are highly complementary” to its other recent bond efforts, Weil said in a statement.
Gross will take over leadership of the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, Weil said.
The new fund has only about $US13 million in assets, which pales in comparison with the $US222 billion in the Pimco Total Return fund Gross has run.
Janus, which has faced outflows in recent years, had total assets of $US177.7 billion at June 30. But Miller said Gross would be a big draw for the company.
“Here you have one of the best investors of all time,” Miller said. “For him to join a firm like Janus, that says a lot about the brand. “It’s not uncommon to hear investors say the Janus brand is tarnished,” Miller added. “We’re firm believers that is not the case.”
(Reporting by Ross Kerber, Editing by Franklin Paul and Lisa Von Ahn)
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