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Janus Brings Back Kozlowski for Expansion in Alternatives

Janus Capital Group Inc., the Denver money manager struggling with client defections, will absorb the hedge fund founded by Dan Kozlowski as he returns to the company to lead an expansion in alternative investments.

Kozlowski, 39, who left Janus in 2008 to found Plaisance Capital LLC, will continue to run the Chicago-based hedge fund while replacing David Decker as manager of Janus Contrarian Fund, the firm said today in a statement. Decker, 45, is leaving June 30 to start an independent asset-management firm, according to the company.

Janus’s stock has lagged behind rivals as clients pulled $18.5 billion from its funds since the third quarter of 2009. Chief Executive Officer Richard Weil, who took over in February 2010, is seeking to attract investors by adding new funds, including a push into fixed income.

The fund acquisition and Kozlowski’s return “positions the firm to offer alternative products that are a natural extension of our fundamental investment philosophy,” Co-Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Coleman said in the statement.

Kozlowski’s hedge fund is focused on U.S. and Asian equities, betting on rising and falling stocks, James Aber, a Janus spokesman, said in a telephone interview. Janus wouldn’t disclose the size of the fund or performance figures.

Aber said Janus will take over the fund and pitch it to institutional investors. Hiroshi Yoh, hired in April to run Asian equity strategies in Singapore, will help manage alternative products.

Decker Outperformance

Under Decker, the Contrarian Fund returned 11 percent in 2010, beating 91 percent of rivals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Dan Riff will drop his role as co-manager of the Janus Fund and oversee Janus Long/Short Fund, which he formerly headed with Decker. Barney Wilson, manager of Global Technology Fund, will succeed Riff as co-manager of Janus Fund.

Brad Slingerlend will replace Wilson as head of Global Technology Fund.

Janus rose 13 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $11.42 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has lost 13 percent in the past year, compared with the gain of 6 percent by the Standard & Poor’s asset manager and custody bank index.

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