Fund management: Pimco diversifies business lines
Moves into active equities, risk management; Not bearish on fixed income, insist executives
"It’s not something we went into lightly. We can’t wake up and say: ‘We’ve been trading bonds and now we’re going to do equities’
Joe McDevitt, Pimco
It’s a new era for Pimco, one of the world’s largest fixed-income managers. In April and May it announced the launch of two actively managed equities funds. More are on the way, says Pimco Europe’s head, Joe McDevitt. Since 1971, when it was founded, the firm has accumulated more than $1 trillion in assets under management, Of this $234 billion is run by founder and co-chief investment officer Bill Gross himself in the Total Return Fund – the largest bond fund in the world.
A move into actively managing equities was therefore regarded as a sign that Gross had turned bearish on fixed income but it’s a message executives have been keen to quash. Rather, they say, it is just time for the firm to broaden out its offerings to clients, and the strategy has been in the pipeline for four years.
It’s a bold move for a firm that is so rooted in fixed income but McDevitt says it makes sense.