PIMCO will not become a major player in equity funds over night and will take time to establish a proper unit, the group’s chief executive has told Citywire Global.
Speaking from the firm’s Newport Beach headquarters, Doug Hodge said the group was still focused on developing a strong presence in the highly competitive field despite recent hurdles.
The bond giant's strategy to diversify away from its core fixed income proposition has arguably been given added urgency by the ending of the 30-year bond bull run and more recently, the shock departure of CEO Mohamed El-Erian.
He said: 'You can't build an equities house quickly. We have 40 plus years of experience and expertise in fixed income but with equities, we are still acquiring those skills and are in the talent acquisition stage.'
The group hired Virginie Maisonneuve from Schroders to build out its equity proposition earlier this year after the departure of interim head of equities Marc Seidner and equities portfolio manager Charles Lahr.
'Virginie is a proven equity investor and she is in contact all the time,' he said.
Outflows and performance
Hodge refused to be drawn on concerns over recent fund outflows and the impact of recent negative news flow, but instead stressed that equities was just one of a raft of alternative assets the group was looking to expand in.
'It is not just about equities. Over the past five years we have introduced close to 150 investment products, in hedge funds and liquid alternatives, alternative assets, income and then equities.’
'Nothing has changed as far as we are concerned. We are long term investors and [the recent press stories] have not changed the way we do things.’
‘We are a very competitive house, and try to focus on superior performance and the highest standard of client service. That mission is not influenced by the media.'
He admitted however that over the past 12 months fund flows had not been helped by overall group performance.
'There are 275 PIMCO fund managers around the world that have delivered superior performance over the past few years although maybe not over the past 12 months.'