Bond star Gross starts new Janus gig with modest needs

Fri Oct 3, 2014 11:27am EDT
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By Tim McLaughlin

(Reuters) - Bond star Bill Gross will commence his new gig at Janus Capital Group Inc JNS.N with modest needs - a trader and someone to deal with clients - as he takes over a tiny fund with the hopes of making a big splash.

One unanswered question is whether Gross will have the resources to match the success he had at Pacific Investment Management Co, which he left last week in a surprise move that rattled global bond markets.

"It's unlikely that Janus will ever match that level of support, raising the question of how successful Gross can be with fewer resources," Morningstar Inc analyst Sumit Desai said in a research report on Thursday.

Pimco has about $2 trillion in assets under management, compared to about $178 billion at Janus. Gross will be managing the $13 million Janus Unconstrained Bond Fund JUCAX.O.

On Friday, Janus confirmed Desai's Morningstar report that Gross, who made his reputation running the massive $222 billion Pimco Total Return Fund PMBIX.O, will have modest needs at the early stage of his tenure.

"To start, Bill has requested a trader and a client-facing professional, but we are in the very early days of these efforts and we will continue to learn, with Bill, how he might best be served," Janus spokesman Steven Shapiro said.

Shapiro said he didn't know if anyone had been hired yet.

At Pimco, Gross had access to more and better information than any other investor, thanks to an army of traders, researchers, portfolio managers and other specialists, Desai said in his report.   Continued...

Bill Gross, co-founder and co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), wears sunglasses as he arrives to speak at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago, Illinois, June 19, 2014.  REUTERS/Jim Young