(Bloomberg) -- Janus Capital Group, the firm that hired bond legend Bill Gross in September, said profit rose 46% in the first quarter as the market rally lifted assets and its funds attracted new money.

Net income increased to $44.6 million, or 23 cents a share, from $30.5 million, or 16 cents, a year earlier, the Denver-based firm said in a statement. Earnings beat the 21-cent average per-share estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Everybody’s still going to be focused on what’s happening with Bill,” said Macrae Sykes, an analyst with Gabelli & Co.

Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Weil, 51, has drawn attention to Janus in the past year by hiring Gross, the Pimco co-founder, and agreeing to buy an exchange-traded product provider. Since taking over in 2010, Weil has worked to stem client defections, expanded the fixed- income team and created a multi-asset investing group.

After more than five years of client withdrawals, the firm has benefited from two straight quarters of new money, attracting $1.1 billion net subscriptions in the period ended March 31. Janus got $2 billion in the prior three months.

SHARES CLIMB

The shares have risen 11% this year, compared with a 2% gain for the 18-company S&P’s Index of asset managers and custody banks.

Janus’s assets were $189.7 billion as of the end of March, up from $183.1 billion at year-end.

Gross runs the firm’s $1.46 billion Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, which is beating 79% of its peers this year through April 22 after a performance rebound, according to Morningstar.

The 71-year-old Gross started overseeing the unconstrained fund on Oct. 6 after losing a power struggle with management at Newport Beach, California-based Pimco. He had built one of the industry’s best long-term records while running the Pimco Total Return Fund.

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