Berger Funds trustees voted to merge the Berger funds into sister company Janus Capital Management. The decision follows a three-month review, according to a statement by trustees. "Janus offered an excellent alternative for shareholders based on cost, shareholder servicing capabilities, compatibility of investment style and other factors, they said in a statement.
Due to the merger, 113 of the 120 Berger employees will be laid off, said Berger spokeswoman Jenny Brookfield. The seven people joining Janus from Berger come from the institutional sales and trading areas, said Shelley Peterson, Janus spokeswoman. Jack Thompson, Berger CEO, will not be joining Janus.
The $5 billion in Berger-managed growth funds will be merged into similar Janus funds, and the Berger name will be dropped.
The Berger value funds, which total $900 million, will be rebranded with the Janus name, keeping the existing management teams. The Berger Mid Cap Value Fund will be managed by Perkins Wolf McDonnell, and the Berger Small-Cap Value Fund will be managed by Bay Isle Financial, which Berger acquired in 2000. As part of the reorganization, Janus announced that it would acquire a 30% stake in PWM, giving it two value shops in the fold.