Katie Reichart: The Medalist of the Week is Silver-rated Perkins Small Cap Value (JSCVX). Firm co-founder Bob Perkins launched the fund in 1987. He's still involved, but Justin Tugman and Tom Reynolds run the fund on a day-to-day basis.
Perkins is a wholly owned subsidiary of Janus, but it's based in Chicago and operates independently. The firm has enjoyed good retention of its investment staff through the years. But the departure of a comanager at this fund did trigger a downgrade in its Analyst Rating from Gold to Silver in 2013.
However, there is still a lot to like about the fund, including its risk-conscious process. The managers consider how much a stock could lose before buying it in the portfolio, which has helped the fund hold up well in downturns. It did better than peers in the benchmark in 2008's market crisis, and it posted top decile performance in 2014--a tough year for small caps.
The fund will lag in very strong market rallies such as 2013; however, its long-term risk-adjusted returns are very competitive. The fund reopened to new investors in January 2015, and it's best used to complement a large-cap-focused portfolio.