Bond fund star Bill Gross gets co-manager as part of acquisition

Bill Gross, the star bond-fund manager based in Newport Beach, is getting a co-manager to help bolster his Janus Capital Group Inc. mutual fund.

While Gross, 71, remains primary portfolio manager of Janus' Global Unconstrained Bond fund, his former colleague Kumar Palghat will be co-portfolio manager, the firm said Wednesday.

The move is part of Janus' purchase of a majority stake in Kapstream Capital Pty Ltd., an Australian-based bond firm that also has offices in Newport Beach, for at least $85 million. Palghat was one of Kapstream’s co-founders.

"I look forward to working with my old colleague, Kumar Palghat, and the rest of the Kapstream team," Gross said in a statement.

Palghat formerly worked with Gross at Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco, where Gross' Total Return fund became a staple in retirement funds worldwide and made Gross a star in fixed-income markets.

Dubbed "the bond king," Gross also became a familiar face on financial-news shows.

Gross abruptly left Pimco last September to join Janus, leading to investors pulling billions of dollars from Pimco. But Gross' Janus fund, in turn, has struggled since then with lagging returns.

With the Kapstream deal, Janus will now manage $8.7 billion of so-called global macro fixed-income assets, including Gross' fund. Janus also has the option to buy the remaining 49% of Kapstream.

Denver-based Janus, which also has an extensive family of stock funds, has $190 billion of total assets under management.



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