Pimco CEO Hodge still taking resumes

November 10, 2014

Pimco’s latest hiring – or rehiring — spree isn’t done just yet.

The bond giant has been rebuilding itself, and particularly its leadership team, since co-founder Bill Gross’ unexpected departure on Sept. 26, which came eight months after his top deputy Mohamed El-Erian quit amid acrimony.

Pimco, a unit of Allianz SE, which had assets under management of $1.876 trillion as of Sept. 30, has been aggressively reassuring clients through meetings, conference calls and advertisements that the firm remains committed to the same investment strategies following the exit of Gross.

Doug Hodge, the new CEO of Pimco, said at the top of his priority list, too, is hiring the best traders and portfolio managers in the business, he told Reuters on the sidelines at the annual SIFMA conference in New York on Monday. Hodge said the Newport Beach, Calif-based firm expects to announce more hires in coming weeks and months.
He declined to detail who those new staffers might be, but the company has already announced a string of new hires and rehires.

In late October, Pimco named Nobel laureate economist Michael Spence as a consultant on macroeconomic and global policy issues while Jeremie Banet, who left Pimco to operate a food truck selling croque-monsieur sandwiches in Los Angeles, returned as an executive vice president and portfolio manager.

Last week, Pimco rehired Marc Seidner as chief investment officer of non-traditional strategies, the sixth CIO named since El-Erian’s departure. Seidner starts his new gig on Wednesday.

Pimco has been working to stem the tide of outflows since Gross’ departure. Pimco suffered $48.3 billion of outflows from across its open-ended funds in October following Gross, adding to $25.5 billion of withdrawals in the previous month, according to Morningstar data.

But on Monday, Hodge said that the company welcomes evaluations of its post-Gross era by institutional investors, many of whom, such as endowments and pension systems, can take months to make investment decisions.

He emphasized that outflows have tapered somewhat since a spike on the day of Gross’ departure, but declined to detail what flows have looked like so far in November.
While praising Gross as a “legendary” innovator, he said that Pimco is a “team” of stars, and not just a particular individual, a perspective the company has worked to emphasize after the larger-than-life Gross departed.

We are Pimco,” declared its advertisements, featuring some of its new CIOs.

As institutional investors weigh in on their Pimco investments, Hodge said, the distance from Gross’ exit in fact helps.
“Time becomes an ally,” Hodge said on Monday.

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