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Fund Times

Fund Times: Janus Manager Steps Down

Plus news on Harris Associates, Harbor, Calamos, Oak Associates, and more.

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Karen Reidy, manager of  Janus Balanced (JABAX) and  Janus Core Equity (JAEIX), announced that she has decided to relinquish her portfolio management duties. She has managed both funds since January 2000.

Effective May 1, 2005, Marc Pinto and Gibson Smith will take over the Balanced fund. Pinto is a longtime institutional equity portfolio manager at Janus, and Gibson Smith is head of Janus' fixed-income department and manager of  Janus High-Yield (JAHYX) and  Janus Short-Term Bond (JASBX). Minyoung Sohn, manager of  Janus Growth & Income (JAGIX), will take over management responsibilities for Janus Core Equity.

In a letter to shareholders, Reidy indicated that going forward, she may continue to be involved with Janus, though not in a portfolio management capacity. She explained that she is currently working with Janus CEO Steve Scheid "exploring ways to contribute to Janus' business in a more strategic capacity."

Harris Associates Ends Use of Soft Dollars
Starting April 1, 2005, Harris Associates (advisor to the Oakmark funds) will no longer fund third-party research using soft dollars. Soft dollars are payments from fund companies to brokerages that are tacked on to the commissions they pay when they trade stocks. In return for these payments, brokerages give the fund companies services in return. These services can typically consist of access to third-party research, which is what Oakmark typically paid for. (However, other firms have used it for things such as access to IPOs or new computers.) Harris joins a growing list of fund companies including American Century and Bridgeway that already ban the use of soft dollars.

We like the move because soft-dollar arrangements aren't transparent to shareholders--they aren't included in the fund's expense ratio, and it's not always clear they're worth what they cost. As such, doing away with them increases the level of transparency.

Harbor Small Cap Value to Shut Its Doors
On June 30, 2005, Harbor Small Cap Value (HISVX) will close to new investors. The chairman of Harbor Capital Advisors, David G. Van Hooser, said that it would become difficult for manager Paul Viera to continue finding investment ideas that met his criteria if the fund grew much more. At present, the fund has just over $1 billion in net assets. We applaud making the move at this time, before asset bloat became too much of a problem.

Etc.
Another update on StreetTRACKS Fortune 500 Index (FFF): As we wrote about two weeks ago, this StreetTRACKS Fortune 500 Index is changing its benchmark, and name. The new name will be StreetTRACKS Total Market ETF, and the new ticker will be TMW.

Calamos Advisors LLC recently opened a new fund, Calamos International Growth Fund (CIGRX). The fund will be managed by John P. Calamos Sr. and Nick P. Calamos, and will be benchmarked against the MSCI EAFE Growth Index. It will invest mainly in equity securities, but per the filing, may also invest in convertible securities, preferred stocks, bonds, debentures, and notes. The projected expense ratio is 1.63%, which is near its typical front-load foreign large-growth rival's price tag of 1.67%.

According to an SEC filing dated April 8, 2005, Oak Associates is also launching a new fund, River Oak Discovery. The fund will be managed by Gregory A. Dooley, who served as an equity analyst at Oak Associates since 2002, and Douglas S. MacKay, who was an assistant portfolio manager for  White Oak Select Growth (WOGSX). It will invest mostly in U.S. small- and mid-cap companies (with market capitalizations of less than $5 billion) and, to a lesser extent, in U.S. large-cap companies. Per the prospectus, its expense ratio will be set at 1.35%, which is close to the mid-cap value category average of 1.29%.

Finally, Mario J. Gabelli, CEO of  Gabelli Asset Management (GBL) and portfolio manager for about 11 mutual funds, received $55 million in compensation for 2004. Of that amount, he received $27.3 million for running the firm's mutual funds.

Dieter Bardy does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.