Janus Loses $5 Billion

The bad news just keeps pouring in for mutual fund manager Janus Capital Group (NYSE: JNS  ) . Yesterday, the Denver-based firm reported that European banker ING Group (NYSE: ING  ) will pull $5 billion from its mutual funds, or roughly 4% of Janus' $135.4 billion under management. Most of the transfer will be done in-kind, meaning that the firm won't cash out its securities but instead move them elsewhere.

According to the Denver Post, most of the funds will be pulled from the Aspen series of mutual funds, which are typically sold through insurance firms. Janus said it would waive any fee increases that would have resulted from the redemption.

Ironically, the news of the redemption comes hours ahead of an announcement this morning that Janus has finalized its $225 million settlement with the attorneys general of New York and Colorado. In addition to the payout, management has approved a series of reforms that should serve as a model for the rest of the industry. Among them: eliminating third-party "soft dollars," which used commissions to pay for research and other services from securities brokers, as well as increasing the rate at which it reports portfolio holdings to monthly from semiannually.

The "soft dollars" practice is particularly insidious, because it meant giving investors only research the firm could get on the cheap, instead of the best available. By joining Fidelity in eliminating the practice, Janus will now buy research it presumably believes is authoritative and best serves its clients. That's good for investors.

Indeed, despite its recent hard times, I'm really impressed by the guts shown by Janus lately. The reforms indicate a willingness to put the mutual fund scandal behind it and get on with the business of serving investors' interests. And isn't that all we should expect anyway?

For more Fool coverage of Janus and the fund scandal, read:

Shannon Zimmerman is on the lookout for the best-managed funds out there. Find out whether Janus' repentance has captured his attention by taking a free 30-day trial toMotley Fool Champion Funds.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is glad to see Janus finally moving on. He owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned, and you can view his Fool profile here.

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