Pimco Might Recruit Equity Managers

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Bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co. reportedly is considering hiring an equity management team away from another large investment firm in an effort to diversify its business mix.

The Newport Beach, Calif. firm will likely seek to recruit from among "global equity teams with a strong track record, but whose company may have been financially weakened by the economic downturn," according to Pensions & Investments, which reported the plan citing unnamed sources familiar with Pimco. Rather than a long-only strategy, the firm might target portfolio managers skilled in long-short equity or quantitative strategies, P&I adds.

The story identifies active equity teams within UBS Global Asset Management, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Evergreen Investments and Colonial First State Global Asset Management, as among possible targets mentioned by consultants and executive recruiters.

Alternative routes to acquiring a desired active equity management capability would be to build an internal unit from the ground up, or contract with an existing equity team at a sister company owned by Pimco parent Allianz Global Investors. But acquiring a team from a competitor is a more likely route, P&I says, even though that might take a year to negotiate and complete.

A Pimco spokesman told the magazine the company intends to take up additional asset classes, including equities, as part of a "multi-year evolution as a provider of global investment solutions."

Equities are included in some of Pimco's current multi-asset products, but only via "passive" exposure, such as stock-index futures. It's never had an active equity investment capability, according to media reports.

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