GLOBAL - Allianz has announced a shakeup to its asset management business, unifying both Allianz Global Investors (AGI) and PIMCO within a holding company, while allowing them to retain their independence.

The new firm, Allianz Asset Management, will be headed by Jay Ralph following the previously announced departure of Joachim Faber.

The company also announced the departure of Marna Whittington, until a few months ago chief operating officer of AGI AG and current chief executive of AGI Capital.

Whittington will retire at the end of the year.

Under the arrangement, PIMCO will take responsibility for the distribution of its products and funds, while its COO Douglas Hodge will sit on the new holding company's executive committee.

Ralph has been named its chairman from next year, with chief executive designate for AGI Elizabeth Corley and Thomas Naumann, head of company planning and controlling at Allianz SE, taking on the role of chief financial officer.

Faber, who will chair the board until his retirement in January, said the firm's asset management business had grown significantly since being spun off in 1998.

"While the first few years were marked by acquisitions, the business has grown both organically and in leaps and bounds over the past eight to nine years," he said.