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Stabilising Total Return fund is 'top priority’, says PIMCO’s Balls

Stabilising Total Return fund is 'top priority’, says PIMCO’s Balls

PIMCO's newly promoted global chief investment officer Andrew Balls urged want-away investors to stick with the group.

This follows the announcement last Friday of the shock departure of co-founder and CIO Bill Gross, who joined Janus Capital.

Citywire AA-rated Balls told Citywire Global that stabilising the US core business and stemming outflows from Gross's former fund PIMCO Total Return would be the 'absolute number one priority' for Gross's successor as overall group CIO, Citywire AAA-rated Dan Ivascyn.

He added that, while the timing of Gross's departure had been a surprise, the firm had laid down its succession plans a few months ago with the new deputy CIO structure created at the time of the departure of Mohamed El Erian early this year.

'The Total Return Fund and core US business is the absolute number one priority and we expect the vast majority of our clients to stay with us,' he said.

'The message is very much one of continuity within the leadership team, who have been running the investment process. We have our clear process and need to speak to all clients to see if they have any other questions for us. I would like to wish Bill the best of luck as he has clearly been a very important person at PIMCO.'

'When it became clear that we needed to elect a new CIO we had unanimous support for Dan among the MD group. Dan has had a lot of success in broadening our product range and has done very well with the Income fund. He is not just an alternatives guy and has also overseen our very successful mortgage strategy.'

In terms of his own role, Balls said he would be taking on additional functions within the global bond teams but did not expect significant changes to his day to day role.

The firm's five other deputy CIOs were all promoted to CIOs of respective parts of the business as part of the reshuffle sparked by Gross's exit. Balls said there were currently no plans to promote another investment manager to deputy CIO level.

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