This former titan of the global tech bubble is disappearing.
Janus announced today that the board of trustees that oversees its funds has approved the merger of Janus Worldwide
The once-vaunted Janus Worldwide has seen a remarkable reversal of fortune. It was once one of the most well-known growth funds around, and with good reason. From its May 1991 inception to the peak of the tech/media/telecom mania in March 2000, it nearly tripled the cumulative return of the typical world-stock fund. The fund's asset base peaked at close to $45 billion then--a close second at Janus to flagship Janus Fund
It's been all downhill for this fund in the past 12.5 years, though. Like many Janus funds, Worldwide fell sharply to earth in the 2000-02 bear market as its portfolio of growth darlings was hammered. Just as the market and the fund began to rebound, longtime lead manager Helen Young Hayes retired in mid-2003. One year later, remaining skipper Laurence Chang was replaced by the value-oriented Jason Yee. His contrarian bets against financials and energy held the fund back in the value rally that lasted through late 2007. And the fund got whipsawed when Yee bought some of those same stocks when they first dipped at the start of the bear market, only to see them get crushed in late 2008 and early 2009.
Yee then exited in favor of growth investor Laurent Saltiel, who got off to a fine start but 13 months later left suddenly for AllianceBernstein. Clearly unprepared for Saltiel's exit, Janus embarked on a 10-month search for a replacement while Brent Lynn of Janus Overseas
With its now-checkered history, continued struggles, and steady outflows, this merger is probably for the best. Premium Members of Morningstar.com can click here for a new analysis of Janus Worldwide and fundholders' postmerger prospects.