Morningstar analyst Dan McNeela has gone one step further than just taking Janus off a proprietary short list of untrustworthy mutual fund providers. In a recent column on Morningstar’s Web site, McNeela heaped praise on the asset manager for implementing new internal procedures aimed at deterring market timers from accessing its funds.

Last year, Morningstar blasted Janus and a handful of mutual fund companies that settled with securities regulators for concealing deals permitting a small group of institutional investors to violate market-timing rules. McNeela now praises Janus’s decision to part company with a small group of senior executives who reportedly had advanced knowledge of the company’s improprieties and kept quiet on the matter. Mark Whiston stepped down as CEO last month and subsequently paved the way for additional reform in Janus’ corporate hierarchy.

Janus also earned new respect from Morningstar in March by implementing new redemption fees ranging from 1% to 2% and hiring an outside firm to beef up its fair value pricing mechanisms. The latter move was an additional step toward fending off market timers seeking to enrich themselves by trading on stale prices.

McNeela further credits Janus for regenerating its brain trust – diminished by the recent departures of investment strategists Helen Young Hayes, Warren Lammert and Sandy Rufenacht – by hiring portfolio managers Gibson Smith, David Corkins and Minyoung Sohn. Janus also recently drafted Gary Black from Goldman Sachs to become the firm’s new chief investment officer.

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