July 10, 2003 -- Janus Funds, which lost two prominent stock pickers earlier this year, is now losing the manager of its big high-yield bond fund.
Sandy Rufenacht, who oversees the $1.1 billion Janus High Yield Fund (JAHYX), will leave Janus next week to start his own investment firm, the fund complex said.
Former BlackRock Inc`A` (BLK) bond fund manager Michael Buchanan will replace Rufenacht on the High Yield fund, starting Monday.
Rufenacht plans to start a money-management firm that will offer high-yield products aimed primarily at wealthy investors, Janus said. "This is something that Sandy has wanted to do," said Janus spokeswoman Jane Ingalls.
Rufenacht joined the Denver-based company in 1990. The High Yield fund, which he has run since its inception in 1996, has lagged similar funds recently but has outpaced them over the long term.
Janus's junk bond fund returned 9% this year through June, while the average low-quality bond fund was up 14.6%. Janus High Yield gained an average annualized 3.9% for the five years ended last month, compared to 1.3% for its peers.
Rufenacht also runs Janus Short Term Bond Fund (JASBX). He will be succeeded on that fund by Gibson Smith, who continues as a co-manager of Janus Flexible Income Fund (JAFIX).
Buchanan was a co-manager of BlackRock High Yield Bond Fund/Inv B (BHYBX), which also invests in low-quality bonds. It returned 16.9% through the first six months of this year. A BlackRock spokesman declined to comment on who, if anyone, would replace Buchanan.
Buchanan looked at macroeconomic factors in running the Black Rock fund to get an idea of what industries were poised to do well or badly, and then focused on individual companies.
Rufenacht's departure follows those by money managers Helen Young Hayes and Warren Lammert, as previously reported.