September 28, 2014 / 9:54 PM / in 3 years

Pimco moving away from Bill Gross model, CEO says

(Reuters) - Pimco CEO Doug Hodge said on Sunday that Pimco is moving away from a founder-led model and that the Newport Beach, California-based firm’s flagship fund previously run by co-founder Bill Gross “does not define Pimco.”

Bill Gross, co-founder and co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), speaks at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago, Illinois, June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young

“Recognize that we are a $2 trillion asset manager but over the last five years, we have expanded to far more parts of the fixed income and into other asset classes and other geographies, so the Pimco Total Return Fund does not define Pimco,” Hodge said. “It’s an important flagship product of this firm but it is not our only strategy.”   

Hodge and Dan Ivascyn, who replaces Gross and now Pimco’s group chief investment officer, told Reuters in an interview that they have been speaking to clients all weekend about the new leadership structure.

“With regard to our clients and the potential for outflows, again, when there is any significant change, we are out communicating with our clients and we are talking with them and we are explaining the changes that are going on,” Hodge said.

“The outflows that have happened – and that may happen – we stand by our clients. We are managing assets and are confident that the vast majority of clients will stand with us.”

Friday, Gross, co-founder of Pacific Investment Management Co, left his post as chief investment officer and joined mutual fund management firm Janus Capital, a move that followed record outflows from Pimco’s flagship portfolio and his clash with other top executives.

His departure, coming eight months after his top deputy, Mohamed El-Erian stepped down in January, has triggered speculation among bond market watchers about leadership uncertainties and other outflow troubles at the world’s largest bond firm.

Reporting By Jennifer Ablan, editing by John Pickering

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