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New Execs at PIMCO, BlackRock

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PIMCO said in early November that it hired Marc Seidner as a managing director and portfolio manager. He will also serve as chief investment officer for non-traditional strategies and head of portfolio management in the New York office, and be a member of the investment committee.

Seidner was a senior portfolio manager at PIMCO from 2009 to 2014. He now reports to Group CIO Daniel Ivascyn.

Also, Curtis Mewbourne, current head of the firm’s New York portfolio management group, will return to the Newport Beach office as a senior member of the portfolio management team in mid-2015. In addition, he will continue in his role as head of the insurance, diversified income and sector fund separate account teams, and will assume additional responsibilities when he returns to California next year.

This is one of several moves PIMCO has made recently to strengthen its investment team after the unexpected departure of co-founder Bill Gross in late September; Gross is now with Janus Capital Group.

Recently, PIMCO tapped Michael Spence as consultant and rehired money manager Jeremie Banet as an executive vice president. Spence, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, had previously consulted with PIMCO and is a faculty member of New York University’s Stern School of Business focused on macroeconomic and global policy issues. Banet, who left the bond shop in June, will have a new role that concentrates on real-return strategies, including inflation-protected bonds.

PIMCO said that investors pulled some $27.5 billion from its Total Return Fund in October, half of which took place in early October. These redemptions followed outflows of about $23.5 billion in September.

The fixed-income group, though, notes that its fund assets were $170.9 billion as of Oct. 31, and that year-to-date inflows into its income strategies have reached $13.0 billion globally.

“Flows from the Total Return Fund peaked on Sept. 26, and slowed sharply throughout October. October performance of 0.80% after fees was in line with the Total Return Fund’s peer group,” said Daniel Tarman, a PIMCO spokesperson.

On a trailing three-month basis, the flagship fund improved 0.97% after fees, while year-to-date its return is 4.16% after fees, the group adds.

Several other PIMCO strategies and funds also experienced inflows in October, including the $39 billion Income Fund, which had a return of 0.91% after fees in October. On a three-month trailing basis, the fund was up 1.48% after fees, and year-to-date it has improved 8.24% after fees, according to the company.

BlackRock News

In other developments, Chip Castille was named chief retirement strategist, a newly created position, at BlackRock. His former role as head of the firm’s defined-contribution business in the United States and Canada will go to Anne Ackerley, a managing director.

Both report to Robert Fairbairn, senior managing director and global head of the firm’s iShares and retail businesses. In addition, Jim Badenhausen, global head of corporate communications and also a managing director, will assume responsibilities as chief marketing officer.

BlackRock recently lowered fees on several bond funds, as other asset management groups like Lord Abbett and OppenheimerFunds did after Gross left PIMCO. Fees were decreased on BlackRock’s Total Return Fund and two other products.


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