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Fund Times

Fund Times: Openings, Closings, & Manager Changes

Janus, MetaMarkets, Profunds, Calamos, Fidelity, Putnam, and Van Kampen.

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Closings
Open mutual funds are becoming a scarce commodity at Denver-based Janus Capital, the hottest-selling fund family of the last few years, which shuttered its eighth fund this past week. This time the firm shut down the runway of its aircraft carrier, the $50.8 billion Janus Fund (JANSX). Current investors will still be able to sow money into the fund, and the family will soon launch a clone, Janus 2, with the original fund's current comanager, John Schreiber, at the helm. Still, there are now eight Janus funds closed--including Janus Global Life Sciences (JAGLX), Global Technology (JAGTX), Olympus (JAOLX), Overseas (JAOSX), Venture (JAVTX), Worldwide (JAWWX), and Twenty (JAVTX). And it's possible more could close. Janus Enterprise (JAENX) manager Jim Goff has said his fund could close this year or next. In that light, it's easy to understand why Janus would want to open a Janus 2 to reap some of the money that otherwise would have gone to the original fund. But if Schreiber tries too hard to make Janus 2 just like its sibling, he could defeat the purpose of closing the first fund, noted Morningstar.com's director of fund research, Russel Kinnel.

Openings
Online mutual-fund company MetaMarkets.com is jumping on the bandwagon for initial public offerings. The San Francisco firm has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch a MetaMarkets IPO & New Era Fund that will buy the stocks of young companies either as they make their debut in the public equity markets or within a year and a half after that. The fund expects to pay the most attention to firms that are somehow connected to or benefiting from the so-called "new economy." The filing is a little vague on what a new-economy company is, but says MetaMarkets generally considers them to be businesses that are at the leading edge of innovations in technology, organization, and marketing. "These are companies that make us more efficient at work, and change the way we relax and play," the filing said. At least 65% of the fund will be in IPOs or new-economy companies. The offering is likely to have high turnover because it will sell maturing IPO companies. To keep it small and nimble enough to negotiate small IPO companies, MetaMarkets will close the fund when it reaches $300 million. The fund carries a 2% expense ratio, or $50 of an annual balance of $2,500, and will charge a 1.5% redemption fee.

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