Feb. 21, 2003 — Stock picker Warren Lammert, who helped guide Janus Mercury Fund (JAMRX) to strong returns in the late 1990s but has seen it stumble since, is stepping down as the fund’s portfolio manager this month and will leave Janus Capital Management at the end of March.
Janus said Lammert, who has run the $4.7-billion fund since 1993, is leaving to “pursue an investment management opportunity outside the mutual fund industry.”
Janus money manager David Corkins, who helped Lammert run Mercury from 1997 to 2001, will succeed him on the portfolio on February 28 while continuing to manage the $5.2-billion Janus Growth and Income Fund (JAGIX). Minyoung Sohn, the assistant manager of the Growth and Income fund, will join Corkins on the Mercury fund.
The Mercury fund, which invests in large-cap growth stocks, returned 58.4% in 1998 and 96.2% in 1999, topping the Standard & Poor’s 500 index both years. But the fund posted losses and lagged the index in each of the next three years. It currently carries a 2-Star rank from Standard & Poor’s.
Lammert’s departure is not related to the fund’s performance, a spokeswoman for the fund complex said.