Janus' $173.5 billion in assets under management as of March 31 were little more than half its $321 billion peak in the first quarter of 2000.
“We know that we haven't yet delivered the results that we need to deliver,” Mr. Weil said in an interview, noting that turning around the money manager will be a multiyear process.
Janus stock closed at $10.27 a share on May 27, below the $13.50 a share that Franklin Resources had offered for the company in July 2009, according to sources. That deal was pushed by former CEO Gary Black but rejected by the Janus board, which opted to remain independent in a gambit it could rebuild the business.
Mr. Weil — Janus' fifth CEO in little more than a decade and a former chief operating officer at Pacific Investment Management Co. — is the latest executive given the mission to forge a new path for the floundering manager.
Janus, a Wall Street darling in the 1990s, invested heavily in tech stocks and rode the boom until it exploded in 1999. A market-timing scandal followed in 2003, and Janus agreed to pay $226 million to settle federal charges that it gave trading advantages to a major investor group at the expense of more ordinary investors.
The company has been in recovery mode ever since.
Mr. Weil's ambitious plan for Janus includes increasing fixed income — where performance has been strong — and international business operations. The CEO said he want to more than triple the group's $16.1 billion fixed-income and $15.6 billion international businesses within three to five years.
It might be easier said than done, analysts say.
Achieving an increased presence in the fixed-income arena could be difficult, argued Greg Warren, senior equity analyst with Morningstar Inc., Chicago. “Janus could succeed, but it's not going to be easy because of the dominance of other fixed-income shops: BlackRock; Franklin Resources; WAMCO; and PIMCO,” he said.
Mr. Weil said subsidiary Janus Capital Management LLC, with its bottom-up fundamentally driven research efforts, offers an alternative to the macro top-down approach of other bond managers.
At least initially, Mr. Weil can point to Janus' fixed-income operation as a bright spot in the company's operations. The company had fixed-income net inflows of $4 billion for the 12 months ended March 30.
Mr. Weil added new executives to both the fixed income and international teams over the past few months, including Augustus Cheh, who was named president of Janus Capital International and will operate out of Hong Kong. Mr. Cheh was CEO of AllianceBernstein Hong Kong, where Mr. Weil said he helped grow that firm's presence in Asia ex-Japan.
But even as he attempts to expand, Mr. Weil has pressing concerns with Janus' legendary U.S. equity strategies, including those of INTECH Investment Management LLC, its quantitatively driven equity subsidiary.