UPDATE 2-DoubleLine hires Pimco exec for new bond product team
(Adds Morningstar's downgrades of Pimco funds; byline)
NEW YORK, April 21 (Reuters) - DoubleLine Capital, the bond management firm run by Jeffrey Gundlach, said on Monday it had hired an executive from rival Pimco to run a new unit focused on developing new investment products and lines of business, particularly outside the United States.
DoubleLine named Ignacio Sosa, previously Pimco's executive vice president for global bond product management, director of its newly formed Product Solutions Group. He starts on May 12 and will report to Gundlach.
Sosa's departure comes after a management shakeup and months of investor outflows at Newport Beach, California-based Pimco. Earlier this year, Mohamed El-Erian, long seen as heir apparent to Pimco co-founder Bill Gross, stunned the fixed income investor community by announcing his departure.
Also on Monday, Morningstar downgraded two Pimco funds, the Pimco Unconstrained Bond and Pimco EqS Pathfinder, to "neutral" from "bronze" ratings following El-Erian's exit and other personnel changes.
Sosa, an experienced emerging markets investor, joined Pimco in 2011. Pimco, or Pacific Investment Management Co, is a unit of European financial services company Allianz SE, and had $1.91 trillion in assets as of Dec. 31, according to the firm's website.
Los Angeles-based DoubleLine has $49 billion in assets under management.
Sosa joined Pimco as executive vice president/lead emerging markets product manager, later becoming the firm's executive vice president for Global Bond Product Management.
In a statement, Sosa said: "Start-ups of equity boutiques happen all the time, but for decades, fixed income assets have remained largely concentrated among a few investment firms because launches of new bond managers are rare events.
"DoubleLine has proven the happy exception since its founding a little more than four years ago. Jeffrey and his team have built a growing, nimble, client-focused company, with diversified strategies in fixed income and equities. Their track record of risk-adjusted returns speaks for itself. So joining DoubleLine at this early stage in its development is especially compelling." (Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama; and Peter Galloway)