Highfields Calls On Stilwell To Harness Compensation

December 16, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Hedge fund family Highfields Capital, a holder of 8% of Janus Mutual Funds parent Stilwell Financial Inc, sent a letter to Stilwell senior management asking the company to harness employee compensation and reconsider selling its share in DST Systems Inc, according to a Reuters report.

In the letter, Stilwell Chief Executive Landon Rowland said, “Janus management has openly acknowledged that the current level of compensation is a problem that it intends to address.”

Additionally, Stilwell, which is currently in plans to consolidate its operations under its Janus operations, has consider selling its 33% share in DST, a provider of investment management services, to cut its debt.   However, the sale could bring about large tax implications Stilwell has indicated it would like to avoid.

Highfields said it did not believe the current debt load at Stilwell was excessive and did not advocate the selling of its DST shares.

Previous concerns about Stilwell’s compensation have been voiced by Highfields.   A previous letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) called for “compensation restructuring” that, “should be undertaken prior to the completion of the reorganization, and if this causes the reorganization to be pushed into next year, so be it.”