April 9 (Reuters) - Denver asset manager Janus Capital Group Inc on Tuesday named Enrique Chang to the post of chief investment officer of equities and asset allocation, as the firm seeks to improve the performance of lagging stock funds and expand a small line up of alternative funds.
Chang, 50, has been CIO of American Century Investments in Kansas City. He will take over management of Janus’ equity investing team from Jonathan Coleman, who was named head of growth equities.
Chang “has a proven track record of working collaboratively with investment teams to ensure that portfolio solutions are anticipating clients’ needs,” Janus CEO Richard Weil said in a statement.
With Chang in charge, Coleman will “concentrate on investing and maintain the continuity of Janus’ investment philosophy and process within our growth equity franchise,” Weil said.
Chang’s appointment signals the latest push for improvement at Janus, where customers withdrew $12 billion last year amid mixed fund performance at many of its well-known equity funds including the $8.1 billion Janus Fund and the $8.3 billion Janus Twenty Fund.
Janus Fund, which is managed by Coleman, gained 8.64 percent annually over the three years ended March 31, trailing 86 percent of large-cap growth funds over the period, according to data from Lipper, a Thomson Reuters unit. The Janus Twenty fund gained 6.85 percent annually over the same period, trailing 96 percent of its peers, Lipper said.
Performance improved over the past 12 months but investors continued to flee. Janus does not have large funds in many of the hottest current categories such as equity income funds and absolute return funds.
Janus managed $157 billion overall at the end of December. It will report its first quarter earnings on April 23.
Weil, CEO since 2010, has pushed out new products to recapture investor cash. Chang will be part of that effort, helping to develop multi-strategy portfolios and overseeing Janus alternatives teams, the firm said.
Chang was not available for an interview, spokeswoman Jane Ingalls said. He will join the firm in September.
The company’s bonds team will continue to report to fixed-income CIO Gibson Smith, Ingalls said. Also, the change will not affect the reporting structure of Janus affiliates like its Perkins Investment Management value-investing unit or its Intech quantitative-investment division.
Shares in Janus were down 0.6 percent in midday trading on Tuesday to $9.03. The shares have gained 5.9 percent so far this year, trailing the 9.8 percent rise in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.