Denver-based Janus Capital Group has agreed to pay $30 million to acquire the parent company of VelocityShares, a provider of institutionally focused exchange traded funds.

The deal to buy VS Holdings is the first foray into ETFs for Janus and should serve as a "platform" for new Janus hire Bill Gross to "roll out fixed-income ETFs," Morningstar analyst Gregg Warren said. 

About $1.8 trillion sits in the U.S. ETF market, but only 32.5 percent of that is owned by institutional investors, such as sponsors of defined benefit and contribution plans, according recent research from Cerulli.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.