Janus Capital Group to Acquire ETF Specialist

Janus Capital Group Inc. has agreed to acquire VS Holdings Inc., the parent company of institutionally-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider VelocityShares LLC.

VelocityShares, launched in 2009, specializes in funds that aim to deliver sophisticated volatility management. The transaction with Janus includes an initial upfront cash consideration of $30 million and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014. Closing of the transaction still requires regulatory approval, according to the firms.

Richard Weil, chief executive officer of Janus Capital Group, says the acquisition is meant to position Janus for growth within the rules-based and active ETF universe. The firm hopes to enhance its ability to work with financial advisers and institutions focused on these instruments, according to Weil. Nick Cherney, co-founder and chief investment officer of VelocityShares, adds that Janus’ distribution network and product development staff will work to create additional opportunities to deliver ETFs to institutional clients.

VelocityShares is managed by Cherney, Richard Hoge and Steve Quinn. VelocityShares’ initial growth was driven by the development of exchange-traded notes (ETNs) in the volatility and commodity space. The company also provides tactical trading products serving short-term investors and traders. These products will continue to be distributed by the VelocityShares team through its existing distribution channels, according to the firm.

VelocityShares launched a second business around “intelligent ETFs” for diversified long-term investment portfolios, currently focused on volatility hedged equities and equal risk weighted solutions. VelocityShares is headquartered in Darien, Connecticut, and employs 11 professionals. As of September 30, 2014, it has raised $2 billion in assets.

More information is available at www.velocitysharesETFs.com.