September 23, 2013 / 1:13 PM / 6 years ago

DoubleLine's Gundlach using flagship strategy for variable annuity

NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Jeffrey Gundlach, head of DoubleLine Capital LP, has begun managing a variable annuity using the strategy of his flagship DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund, the firm said Monday.

The Curian/DoubleLine Total Return Fund, which Gundlach co-manages with DoubleLine president Philip Barach, has raised $450 million from investors. The fund is offered as one of Jackson National Life Insurance Co’s Elite Access variable annuities.

Gundlach’s roughly $35 billion DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund typically invests more than 50 percent of its assets in a variety of mortgage-backed securities, including nonagency mortgage-backed securities, which have no government guarantee of principal repayment.

Variable annuities are insurance products that offer investors the ability to invest and accumulate retirement savings on a tax-deferred basis and then use the money to fund lifetime retirement benefits.

Policyholders typically can choose their own investments from among lists of mutual funds that the annuities offer. These products often have high fees to cover both the retirement income guarantee and the investment management costs.

The DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund is down 0.15 percent so far this year, besting 95 percent of peers, according to investment research firm Morningstar.

Gundlach is chief executive and chief investment officer of Los Angeles-based DoubleLine, which had roughly $57 billion in assets as of June 30. The Curian/DoubleLine Total Return Fund is the first variable annuity the firm has managed.

Lansing, Michigan-based Jackson is a subsidiary of British insurer Prudential Plc

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