Janus Loses Its Top Equities Fund Managers Schaub, Meade

Janus Capital Group Inc. said three fund managers, including the pair that run two of the firm’s top stock funds, are leaving the company.

Brian Schaub and Chad Meade, managers of the $4.9 billion Janus Triton Fund and the $2.3 billion Venture Fund, and Ron Sachs, who runs the $8.6 billion Twenty Fund and the $3.6 billion Forty Fund, will leave the firm, the Denver-based company said today in a statement. The firm hired Doug Rao, a former partner at Marsico Capital Management, to replace Sachs on the Forty Fund and will fill the other vacant positions internally.

The departures are the highest-level exits at Janus since Richard Weil took over as chief executive officer in February 2010. Schaub and Meade made Triton Janus’s best stock fund in the past five years, returning an annual average of 12 percent and beating 98 percent of competing funds during that period. The pair also led Venture, which focuses on small companies, to 9.8 percent annual returns over five years, beating 87 percent of rivals.

The company lost at least 15 fund managers and executives under Weil’s predecessor, Gary Black, who clashed with top money managers over pay.

Janus fell 3.6 percent to close at $8.60 in New York trading. The shares have climbed 0.9 percent this year, compared with a 24 percent gain by the Standard & Poor’s index of asset managers and custody banks.

Thomas Marsico

Rao managed the Marsico Flexible Capital Fund from July 2, 2007 to July 19, 2012, returning an annual average of 10 percent, compared with the 0.23 percent return for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index during the same period. Marsico Capital is led by former Janus portfolio manager Thomas Marsico, who left in 1997 to open his own Denver-based investment firm.

Sachs will leave the firm May 31. Schaub and Meade will work with Coleman and Modi during a transition period and will depart at an undisclosed date, according to the statement.

Marc Pinto, a 19-year veteran of Janus’s large-cap growth equity investment team, will take over the Twenty Fund.

“Doug and Marc bring great track records and experience to Janus Forty Fund and Janus Twenty Fund, respectively,” Weil said in today’s statement. “They are excellent choices to drive strong performance in these two flagship strategies on behalf of our clients.”

Jonathan Coleman will replace Schaub and Meade managing the Triton Fund and will co-manage the Venture Fund with equity research analyst Maneesh Modi. Barney Wilson will now run the Janus fund alone.

Twenty Fund

Sachs’s Twenty Fund went from being among Janus’s best under former manager Scott Schoelzel to among its poorest. It returned an average 1.2 percent over the past five years and trailed 96 percent of competing funds. The Forty Fund returned an average 1.1 percent in the past five years, lagging behind 89 percent of rivals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Investors have pulled money from the Denver-based asset manager for 15 straight quarters amid poor performance and a broad shift to index-based investments and fixed-incomes. While Weil has expanded teams that invest in bonds and multi-asset products, 82 percent of Janus’s assets are in actively-managed equities.

Janus, which managed $163.8 billion as of March 31, said April 23 that first-quarter net income rose 24 percent to $28 million from a year earlier after stock-market gains helped boost assets.

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