(Adds details on bond flows, background)
BOSTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Star bond fund manager Bill Gross has pumped more than $700 million of his own money into the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, Janus Capital Chief Executive Dick Weil said on Thursday.
“At the end of 2014, Bill had invested more than $700 million of his personal money in the Global Unconstrained Bond Fund,” Weil said on a conference call. “He fundamentally believes that investing alongside of clients aligns interests. He believes in eating his own cooking.”
Janus shares were up 9.4 percent at $17.81 in mid-morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Janus’ fourth-quarter profit beat Wall Street expectations as the Denver-based company marked a milestone with its first quarterly net deposits from investors since 2009.
The company’s stock has been on the upswing since last fall when Gross bolted to Janus from Pacific Investment Management Co., where he managed the flagship Pimco Total Return Fund .
The move happened amid inner turmoil at Pimco, including fallout from a public spat between Gross and his top lieutenant. The performance of Pimco’s Total Return Fund also was lagging rivals with Gross at the helm.
Weil’s comments provide some clarity on the impact that Gross is having at Janus. Flows to his Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund have been choppy. After taking in $770 million in November, the fund had net deposits of just $176 million in December, according to Morningstar.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that most of the $1 billion-plus in Gross’ new fund may have had ties to Gross himself. The paper said the money came from the same California wealth management office where one of Gross’ personal financial advisers works, citing industry executives who viewed confidential brokerage data.
That money helped push the fund past $1 billion, a key threshold for large investors. Gross still got a vote of confidence in November when the management company of well-known investor George Soros put $500 million into a private investment vehicle at Janus, to follow the same strategy Gross uses in his Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund.
An analyst asked Weil on the conference call to confirm his assumption that Janus would not charge a fee on the money that Gross added to his fund.
“No, that (money) comes in in the usual way. There’s no special arrangement around it,” Weil responded. (Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Tim McLaughlin and James Dalgleish)