Pimco appoints four more deputy CIOs after El-Erian quits

Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:02pm EST
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By Jennifer Ablan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pimco on Wednesday promoted another four of its top investment managers into more strategic roles, expanding the pool of potential successors to the fund management firm's co-founder and star bond picker Bill Gross following the sudden resignation of his previous heir apparent.

Mark Kiesel, Virginie Maisonneuve, Scott Mather and Mihir Worah, currently managing directors at Pacific Investment Management Co, will become deputy chief investment officers, Pimco said in a statement.

The four will join Dan Ivascyn and Andrew Balls, who were appointed last week after Mohamed El-Erian, who is the chief executive officer and who shares the chief investment officer role with Gross, abruptly announced plans to resign from Pimco, the world's largest bond fund manager.

The ongoing shakeup comes as many investors are turning their backs on the kind of bond investments Pimco is famous for offering. In fact, last April Gross went so far as to declare the three-decade bull run for bonds to be over.

Reflecting that, several of the new appointments have expertise outside of the fixed-income sector, which has long been Pimco's bread-and-butter business. Maisonneuve, for instance, recently joined Pimco in January to succeed Neel Kashkari as the Newport Beach, Calif.'s global head of equities.

"Our six deputy CIOs demonstrate the strength, depth and breadth of investment talent at Pimco," Gross, 69, said in a statement. "Individually and as a team they have delivered for clients consistently, and they will now help lead Pimco's investing excellence into the future."

El-Erian, who had been widely seen as the heir apparent to Gross, will leave the firm in mid-March. Gross, who shared the title of co-chief investment officer, will become the sole CIO. El-Erian will remain a consultant at Allianz (ALVG.DE: Quote), the German insurer that owns Pimco.

Allianz granted Pimco in 2011 full control of its global distribution of its products - a move that had given the world's largest bond fund more independence as it expanded into new businesses.   Continued...

Allianz logos are pictured in front of the headquarter of Germany's largest insurance group Allianz AG in Munich, June 22, 2006.