(Bloomberg) — Walter Gerken, the former insurance executive who helped build Pacific Investment Management Co., which went on to oversee the world’s biggest bond fund, has died. He was 93.
He died Oct. 5, according to a statement Monday from Pacific Life Insurance Co. that didn’t disclose a cause of death.
Gerken was chairman and chief executive officer of the insurer, previously known as Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co., from 1975 to 1986. The executive was influential in the decision to move the company to Newport Beach, California, from Los Angeles and also in the founding and growth Pimco, started as a fixed-income unit of the insurer, according to the statement.
“Walter was a man of vision and action who helped build Pacific Life into what it is today,” said Jim Morris, chairman and CEO of the insurer. “And he was a leading example of how to make a difference in the community.”
Pimco was established in 1971 by a group that included money manager Bill Gross, later known as the “bond king.” Pimco became a publicly traded company in 1994, and insurer Allianz agreed in 1999 to buy the company.