Bill Gross’ Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund suffered its first month of net client redemptions last month since he joined as returns trailed peers.
Investors pulled $18.5 million from the fund in February, leaving it with about $1.45 billion in assets, Chicago-based research firm Morningstar Inc. estimated. The fund has declined 0.8 percent this year, trailing 96 percent of similarly managed funds, Morningstar said.
The redemptions are a setback for Gross, 70, who fueled much of the fund’s growth last year as assets surged from about $13 million before he joined. Richard M. Weil, chief executive officer of Janus Capital Group Inc., said on a Jan. 22 conference call that more than $700 million of the fund’s assets came from Gross himself.
The firm saw an 18 percent increase in profit last quarter as it attracted net new money for the first time in more than five years. Janus reported $2 billion in net subscriptions for the fourth quarter, mostly into bond funds.
Gross and his family held a 51.2 percent stake in the fund as of Dec. 31, according to a Janus filing, with a market value of about $739 million at year-end.
Gross previously ran the world’s biggest bond fund, the Pimco Total Return Fund, at Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co., the firm he co-founded in 1971 before abruptly departing for Janus on Sept. 26.
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