Janus Capital

plans to lay off 468 customer support employees, or 16% of its workforce, as a result of slowing demand and increased automation.

Stilwell Financial

(SV)

is the majority owner of Janus.

The positions Janus will eliminate include phone operators, mail processors and trainers, while investment managers won't be affected.

In January, Stilwell said it would purchase 600,000 Janus common shares from Thomas H. Bailey, the chairman, president, CEO and founder of the mutual fund group. Stilwell, which is based in Kansas City, Mo., will own 88.7% of Janus after closing the acquisition. A few days later, Stilwell posted

fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts' expectations by a penny.

Shares of Stilwell closed

New York Stock Exchange

trading down 89 cents, or 2.1%, to $42.11.