Janus Capital Group plans to bring two new mutual funds to market in February as part of a larger effort to turn things around at the troubled fund firm, a move that ends a three-and-a-half year drought for new retail products, the Rocky Mountain News reports.

The Denver-based fund complex said in a regulatory filing earlier this month that it will launch two new stock funds in February, the Janus Explorer Fund and the Janus Research Fund, pending final approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the newspaper said.

The Explorer fund will focus mainly on small and midsize stocks that have a market capitalization of less than $10 billion. Meanwhile, the Research fund will select stocks based on recommendations from its team of analysts and invest in a broad range of sectors.

Ron Sachs, who runs the $548 million Janus Orion Fund, is set to take the reins as portfolio manager for the Explorer fund upon launch. The Explorer fund will charge an annual expense ratio of 1.19%, according to the filing. The last time Janus launched a retail product was when it unveiled the Global Opportunities Fund in mid-2001.

The new fund offerings are part of a larger effort to right the ship after several years of poor performance and turmoil at the once mighty fund company. Janus took it on the chin for having been the poster child for the technology bubble and more recently for its role in an ugly trading scandal, which ended in a $225 settlement with state and federal regulators.

The battered fund shop has lost $30 billion in net withdrawals since the beginning of 2003, second only to Putnam Investments, according to Financial Research Corp. of Boston. Janus is hoping that improved performance at some of its equity funds, new hires in the research department, a stronger marketing presence and more diverse product lineup will restore it to former glory.

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