John Rogers of Ariel Funds Comments on Janus Capital Group
Janus Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:JNS) has tried even our patience over the years, but the company is on a much better path after taking some aggressive steps during the worst of the market meltdown. In 2009, the Janus board fired then-CEO Gary Black, replacing him in February 2010 with 13-year PIMCO veteran Dick Weil. In many ways, hiring someone from a world-renowned bond shop ran counter to this high-octane growthstock manager's brand. And yet, Weil arrived armed and ready to broaden the company's fixed income capabilities and expand its domestic and international equity offerings. As a result of these efforts, fixed income now represents $24 billion or 16% of assets under management (AUM), which is substantially up from 4% when he started, and value has grown from 10 to 12% of assets. Weil has also worked to extend the brand presence globally and also grow assets in the institutional arena. During this time, Janus's dividend jumped from 4 to 24 cents annually and debt was dramatically reduced from $1.1 billion at the time of the 2009 market low to $539 million today.