January 10, 2015 / 12:55 PM / 5 years ago

Pimco rules out acquisitions to grow equities business

FRANKFURT, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Pimco will not make acquisitions as it seeks to expand its equities business, an executive of Allianz’s bond fund managing unit told a German weekly on Saturday.

The fund manager has been determined to push into equities as it aims to move into other asset classes in anticipation of an end to a three-decade long bond rally.

But Pimco, perceived by many as a pure-play bond investor, has faced an uphill battle to gain traction in equities against established asset managers such as Blackrock or State Street.

Allianz executives have repeatedly acknowledged in the past that the expansion into stocks was proving more difficult than expected.

While rivals like Blackrock have used acquisitions to diversify beyond bonds, Pimco’s strategy has been to hire managers and add strategies one at a time.

Last week, Pimco announced that it was expanding its presence in equity management with seven new stock strategies in partnership with asset manager Research Affiliates.

“We want to build up our equities know how with organic growth. We do not plan to acquire investment boutiques,” Andrew Bosomworth, the Germany head of Pimco’s portfolio management told Euro am Sonntag.

“We will continue to hire equities experts and will, step by step, set up products. But that will not happen overnight. It has taken Pimco 30 years to get to assets under management of $1 trillion in bonds. We cannot expect wonders in the equities business,” he told the magazine.

However, Pimco plans to “absolutely grow” its equities business, Chief Executive Officer Doug Hodge has said in the past.

Pimco’s flagship bond fund, its Total Return Fund, had a record outflow of $103 billion in 2014, according to preliminary data from Morningstar published last week.

Management turmoil at Pimco spooked many investors last year, with the then CEO Mohamed El-Erian leaving in January and co-founder Bill Gross departing for smaller rival Janus Capital in September, which prompted a spike in outflows. (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Clelia Oziel)

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