In possible gift to Bill Gross, Janus gets preliminary approval to offer ETFs

Janus has indicated significant plans in the ETF space, including a possible fund with the Pimco founder

Mar 3, 2015 @ 4:23 pm

By Trevor Hunnicutt

Janus Capital Group Inc. may be getting closer to offering an ETF managed by its legendary portfolio manager, Bill Gross.

The fund company earned preliminary approval to offer a set of exchange-traded funds, including an initial fund that is similar to the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund (JUCAX) Mr. Gross currently runs in a mutual fund format.

Mr. Gross took over the management of that fund after an abrupt exit in September from Pacific Investment Management Co.

“The initial fund will pursue opportunities across the fixed-income spectrum, including moving between sectors or across credit risk, and may have long, short, or negative duration,” Janus' filing said.

Even if the SEC grants Janus' request with final approval, the fund company is under no obligation to offer such an ETF. But Janus chief executive Richard M. Weil has indicated a desire to bring Mr. Gross back to the ETF world.

It's very rare for an ETF application to get stalled after it receives preliminary approval.

At Pimco, Mr. Gross ran a version of the firm's flagship Total Return Fund as an exchange-traded fund under the ticker symbol BOND, building it into one of the top actively managed ETFs on the market.

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