Janus High-Yield Fund Manager Out After Five Months

December 5, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) -- Mutual fund company Janus Capital Group announced Friday that the manager of one of its funds identified internally as having allowed market timing transactions has quit the company after only five months

According to a Janus news release, Janus High-Yield Fund portfolio manager Michael Buchanan is scheduled to leave the Denver firm December 19 “to return to New York.” Buchanan joined Denver-based Janus in July to replace Sandy Rufenacht as manager of the Janus High-Yield Fund, according to news reports. The highly touted Buchanan was formerly a fund manager at New York-based investment firm BlackRock Inc.

Even though the Janus High-Yield Fund was one of seven offerings identified by Janus in September as having allowed “limited discretionary frequent trading” in the past (See  Janus Unearths Market Timing Arrangements ), the firm insisted Friday that Buchanan’s stepping down was unrelated to the continuing fund trading scandal.

Janus has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but was one of the first companies named by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in a sweeping probe into improper mutual fund trading. Market timing and late trading have been at the center of the state and federal probe that has already touched numerous US mutual fund companies.

According to the Janus announcement, Gibson Smith, manager of Janus ‘ short-term bond products, will replace Buchanan. Smith, who joined Janus in January 2001 as a fixed income research analyst, has 12 years of industry experience. Before coming to Janus, Smith worked for 10 years in the fixed-income division of Morgan Stanley. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Colorado.

Janusalso announced MinyoungSohn will replace David Corkins as portfolio manager of Janus ‘ growth and income funds. Corkins will continue managing the Janus Mercury Fund. Since arriving at Janus in 1998, Sohn has specialized in analyzing domestic large capitalization companies and has covered a wide range of businesses, including firms in the financial, retail, consumer, Internet and energy sectors. Sohn earned a bachelor’s degree in government and economics from Dartmouth College, where he graduated cum laude