Janus Henderson Bets Big on Hedge Funds, Alts After Outflows

Janus Henderson Group Plc’s new boss has a plan to revive the struggling money manager, whose clients have yanked about $130 billion since 2017. He’s leaning into active investing and pushing forcefully into alternative investments such as hedge funds and private credit.

In his first interview since taking over as chief executive officer in June, Ali Dibadj, 47, acknowledged the difficulties the London-based firm has faced and laid out the core of his turnaround strategy — devised after months of internal review by senior staffers.

Created in 2017 after the transatlantic merger of two storied asset managers, Janus Henderson aspired to build a large-scale fund manager able to fight the rapid shift to cheaper passive products. Instead, its assets under management shrank to $287 billion from $331 billion in 2017, and its clients have pulled money for the past 21 quarters.

Dibadj aims to stanch the bleeding by pushing into some of the most highly competitive areas of finance, a move he concedes will take time.

“We have a lot to do with our active business right now to deliver better results,” Dibadj told Bloomberg News, speaking from the firm’s new office in New York, where he was meeting with investors. He expects to show some positive quarters over the next couple of years, with the goal of having more consistent inflows over the next three to five years.

Dibadj — former chief financial officer at AllianceBernstein Holding LP — took over almost two years after activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management built a stake in the firm that now stands at 19% and began pushing for change. Janus Henderson’s board selected the new CEO, a choice the activist investor said it “strongly supports.”