Fund management: Pimco reassesses emerging markets approach
The world’s biggest EM portfolio fund manager is scaling back its tactical allocation to the asset class.
|“As emerging markets have matured, it is much more of a credit asset class”
Michael Gomez, Pimco
Michael Gomez, co-head of emerging markets at Pimco in California, has run more emerging-market debt than anybody else in history – and that includes his predecessor, Mohamed El-Erian. But Gomez doesn’t have El-Erian’s predilection for making his presence felt: as he approaches the first anniversary of the announcement of El-Erian’s departure to run the Harvard endowment fund, he’s still considered something of an unknown quantity by much of the emerging markets universe. Gomez runs Pimco’s $21 billion stock of dollar-denominated debt, as well as its $8 billion local-currency portfolio; his partner Curtis Mewbourne is in charge of the diversified income strategy, which splits allocations roughly three ways between investment-grade credit, high-yield credit and emerging markets. The split puts Gomez squarely in charge of the big asset-allocation decisions in emerging markets: the decisions – like that of El-Erian to go heavily overweight Brazil both before and after its presidential election in 2002 – that can make or break an emerging-market strategy.