January 13, 2015 / 12:05 AM / 5 years ago

Pimco taps Seidner to revive Unconstrained Bond Fund

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pacific Investment Management Co has named Marc Seidner, chief investment officer for non-traditional strategies, lead portfolio manager of the Pimco Unconstrained Bond Fund, the firm said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

Seidner will be the main manager, effective immediately, with the support of Mohsen Fahmi and Daniel Ivascyn, who have been managing the fund since September, the filing said. Ivascyn, group chief investment officer at Pimco, oversees Seidner and five other chief investment officers.

Unconstrained bond funds have become some of the most popular investment vehicles over the last year because they have the flexibility to invest in all types of bond securities globally and often invest in credit rather than interest-rate sensitive assets.

But the Pimco Unconstrained Bond Fund, which Pimco co-founder Bill Gross took over in December 2013 until his stunning exit last September, had record outflows of roughly $16 billion in 2014, according to Morningstar data. At the end of last year, the Pimco Unconstrained Bond Fund’s assets under management stood at $11.47 billion.

Seidner, who is head of portfolio management in Pimco’s New York office and a member of the firm’s Investment Committee, rejoined Pimco in November after serving as head of fixed income at GMO LLC. He will not be replacing anyone at Unconstrained Bond.

Seidner had been a senior portfolio manager at Pimco from 2009 to 2014. He resigned in January 2014 just hours before Pimco shocked the asset management world with the announcement of the departure of Chief Executive Mohamed El-Erian, the result of a falling out over Gross’s leadership style and investment strategy.

Long considered to be in line to succeed Gross as Pimco’s top investment executive, El-Erian was also a close confidant of Seidner.

A month and a half after Gross left Pimco, Seidner returned.

“This continues to be an environment where investors are confronted with diverging trends in global economic growth and central bank policies combined with generally narrow risk premia across most financial assets,” Seidner told Reuters in an email.

“That said, we currently find good value in some segments of the fixed income marketplace that have underperformed recently including inflation protected bonds, select emerging market opportunities, and we continue to favor long-dollar positions versus the euro and the yen.”

He declined to go into specifics about his return.

In a separate filing on Monday, Pimco said Saumil Parikh, managing director and generalist portfolio manager, was leaving to pursue other opportunities.

“Consistent with industry norms, typically during this time of year a small number of individuals make decisions to leave the firm, either to pursue opportunities in our industry, or for other reasons. We thank Saumil for his contributions and wish him success going forward,” Douglas Hodge, Pimco’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Parikh was a co-manager of the Pimco Unconstrained Bond Fund. He was also a member of the Investment Committee and led Pimco’s cyclical economic forums. Pimco oversaw $1.87 trillion in assets under management, as of Sept. 30.

Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Leslie Adler, Chris Reese and Ken Wills

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