The firm's batting average on manager changes has been poor lately.
Janus has seen more than its share of peaks and valleys over time. To its credit, the firm consistently has come back from the depths. After a crash and burn in the 2000-02 bear market (due to heavy investments in tech and telecom) and the exposure of Janus' involvement in the 2003 market-timing scandal, the firm got back on its feet due to solid performance runs by managers David Corkins and Scott Schoelzel.
But then Janus suffered through a wave of exits: Corkins, along with promising young manager Minyoung Sohn, left in in late 2007 to start a new asset management firm. Schoelzel retired at the end of 2007.
The manager changes continued at a steady trickle. For example, David Decker left Janus Contrarian JSVAX last year, and just 10 days ago John Eisinger of Janus Global Select JORNX left. Some departures have been Janus' idea, but either way, it shows the firm still has work to do. All the while, performance, which had picked up nicely, has fallen off in the last couple of years.
Janus' talent losses have taken a toll. The departures in 2007 led to a number of new assignments at some of its most prominent funds. Jonathan Coleman replaced Corkins at Janus Fund JANSX, Ron Sachs took on Schoelzel's role at Janus Twenty JAVLX and Janus Forty JARTX, and Marc Pinto filled Sohn's shoes at Janus Growth & Income JAGIX. While each manager had posted solid records at previous posts, these changes haven't worked out well. Coleman, Pinto, and Sachs lag 65%-80% of their large-growth peers during the 4.5-5 years they've managed their current charges--which are Janus' four largest domestic all-equity funds--and each fund trails its benchmark (the Russell 1000 Growth Index for all except Growth & Income, which competes with the S&P 500) by an annualized 2.5 to 4.5 percentage points.
A number of other manager changes at Janus' equity funds since then haven't yielded good results thus far, either. Here's a quick look at them:
Janus' analysts also have struggled during the latter part of the period from 2008- to mid-2012, particularly those who cover U.S. large caps. That's reflected in the weak 18-month performance of Janus Research JAMRX, an analyst-run U.S. equity fund. Janus Global Research JARFX boasts a strong longer-term record, but its performance has moderated lately.
There have been a couple of changes at Janus that have worked out or look quite promising, but they're focused in what have long been relatively minor parts of the firm's lineup: small- and mid-cap U.S. equity funds.