Dec. 13, 2002 -- Janus Capital Management is reopening four mutual funds that have been closed to new investors for more than two years, including its flagship Janus Fund (JANSX). The company also said it will merge two other funds out of existence to eliminate duplicate offerings.
The Janus Fund will begin accepting new shareholders on December 31, along with Janus Worldwide Fund (JAWWX), Janus Global Technology Fund (JAGTX), and Janus Global Life Sciences Fund (JAGLX).
In the reorganization, Janus Fund 2 (JTWOX), which was introduced as an alternative to the Janus Fund when that offering closed, will be absorbed by its predecessor. The company will also merge Janus Special Situations Fund (JASSX) into Janus Strategic Value Fund (JSVAX).
The funds that are reopening have all seen their assets decrease by more than half since they were closed to keep from getting too big to be manageable. The funds have suffered some shareholder redemptions, but stock market depreciation has been responsible for the "vast majority" of the drop, a Janus spokeswoman said.
The Janus Fund, which had $50 billion in assets when it was closed in September 2000, had $17.1 billion at the end of last month. During the same period the Worldwide Fund shrank from $42 billion to $13.8 billion. Global Life Sciences' assets declined from $3 billion when it was closed in May 2000 to $1.3 billion last month. Global Technology's assets slid from $7.9 billion in January 2000, when it stopped accepting new investors, to $1.4 billion on November 31.
The fund mergers are aimed at streamlining its fund lineup by eliminating offerings with similar investment styles, Janus said.
In connection with the reorganization, portfolio manager John Schreiber, who oversees the Janus 2 Fund, will join Warren Lammert in running Janus Mercury Fund (JAMRX) and institutional products.
The Special Situations and Strategic Value funds are run by David Decker, who will continue as manager of the combined fund when they are merge. The reorganized fund will be renamed the Special Equity Fund, starting February 28.
The Denver-based company also said Minyoung Sohn, an analyst, was promoted to assistant portfolio manager and will join money manager David Corkins on Janus' growth and income products.
In connection with the mergers, the funds to be eliminated will close to new investors today.
Janus announced it is revamping its product line a day after disclosing that it is set to take over the Berger Funds.
Trustees of the Berger Funds have voted to recommend that they be reorganized into the Janus group. Both companies are units of Stilwell Financial (SV), which is being organized into a single business that will operate under the Janus name.