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New Hire Roundup: PIMCO Welcomes Johnson; Cepek Rises at Allianz

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This week in new hires, Geoffrey Johnson joined PIMCO; Gretchen Cepek was promoted at Allianz Life; and Kimball Brooker was named portfolio manager at First Eagle.

Also, Rob McInerney was promoted at Thornburg, Marshall Gandy joined the SEC and Michael Copp joined the ASPPA executive team.

PIMCO Hires Geoffrey Johnson as Lead Global Equity Portfolio Manager

PIMCO announced Feb. 22 that it has hired Geoffrey Johnson as an executive vice president and global equity portfolio manager. He will begin in April and will be based in the Newport Beach office. In this new role, he will establish and lead a global long/short active equity strategy.

Prior to joining, Johnson was managing partner of Catamount Capital Management, a boutique investment management firm where he also served as portfolio manager. Earlier in his career, he was founder and president of Direct Response Inc.

Allianz Life Names Gretchen Cepek as General Counsel

Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America announced that it has promoted Gretchen Cepek to the post of general counsel, effective Feb. 20. In her new role, Cepek will serve as chief legal advisor for the executive management team and will oversee litigation, corporate governance, product development, special investigations and government relations. She also joins the company’s executive leadership group and will report directly to Allianz Life President and CEO Walter White. Cepek succeeds Maureen Phillips, who left the company to pursue a new opportunity.

Cepek joined the company in 2009 and has overseen a legal team covering business operations, product development, distribution, tax and government relations. Prior to joining Allizanz, Cepek provided counsel on a range of legal matters for Woodbury Financial Services (Hartford Life’s independent broker/dealer) in Woodbury, Minn., and was a partner at the law firm of Querrey & Harrow in Chicago, where she spent 12 years specializing in complex commercial litigation.

Kimball Brooker Promoted to Portfolio Manager of First Eagle Global Fund

First Eagle Investment Management, adviser to First Eagle Funds, announced Thursday that Kimball Brooker Jr. has been promoted to portfolio manager of First Eagle Global Fund, joining Matthew McLennan and Abhay Deshpande, portfolio managers of the fund. Previously, he was associate portfolio manager, and continues to be one of three portfolio managers of both the First Eagle Overseas Fund and the First Eagle U.S. Value Fund.

Brooker has nearly 20 years of industry experience, and joined First Eagle in January 2009 as senior vice president and senior research analyst. Shortly after, he was named as a portfolio manager of First Eagle Overseas and U.S. Value Funds, and associate portfolio manager of First Eagle Global Fund. Prior to joining, he was the chief investment officer of Corsair Capital. He also held positions as a financial analyst at Lazard Frères & Co. and as an associate in J.P. Morgan’s investment banking department.

Thornburg Investment Management Names Rob McInerney National Sales Manager

Rob McInerney has been promoted to national sales manager for Thornburg Funds, effective last Thursday, and will also assume the role of president of Thornburg Securities Corp., succeeding Jack Gardner in both positions. McInerney has served as regional consultant for Thornburg since 1999, serving advisors in metro New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

Prior to joining, McInerney worked for Lexington Funds, based in New Jersey, where he started in customer service/operations in 1988 before leaving in 1999 as director of mutual fund sales.

Michael Copp Joins ASPPA Executive Team; Brings 13-Plus Years of Management Expertise to ASPPA

Michael CoppThe American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries  announced last Thursday that Michael R. Copp has joined as chief operating officer. Copp (left) comes to ASPPA from National Association of Home Builders, where he served as senior vice president of education. He will join the ASPPA executive team on March 19.

Copp comes to ASPPA with more than 13 years of experience in the association sector, including educational development, event management, marketing, and business development at both NAHB and the American Institute of Architects. Prior to his employment with NAHB, Copp was managing director with the professional practice division of AIA.

Gandy Named Head of Examinations in SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office

The SEC announced Friday the appointment of Marshall Gandy as associate regional director for examinations in the agency’s Fort Worth, Texas, regional office. In this new position, he will lead a staff of approximately 40 accountants, examiners, attorneys, and support personnel responsible for examining broker-dealers, investment companies, investment advisers, and transfer agents in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Gandy served as a senior regional counsel at FINRA since 2008. Prior to that, he was a trial counsel and enforcement attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the presiding judge in a Dallas County criminal court, and an assistant district attorney in Dallas County.

Read the Feb. 29 New Hire Roundup at


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