GLOBAL - US fixed income giant PIMCO is looking to hire a team for global growth and global income equities, according to head of new investment initiatives Neel Kashkari.
This follows the launch of a deep value equities strategy in the second quarter last year and the submission of regulatory filings with the US regulator for emerging market equities funds in the fourth quarter.
PIMCO launched its first active equities strategy in May 2010. Managed by Franklin Templeton alumni Anne Gudefin and Charles Lahr, the EqS Pathfinder fund returned 11.6% in the second half of last year with its global deep value approach.
The MSCI World index delivered 24% over the same period, although Pathfinder was still 28% in cash at year-end.
Kashkari expects the 30-strong team involved in new investment initiatives to double in size during 2011, and regulatory filings in the US last year have already prepared the way for its second active equity strategy, the EqS Emerging Markets fund.
Maria Gordon joined PIMCO from Goldman Sachs Asset Management in October to manage the new fund.
PIMCO will stick to its strategy of hiring senior teams rather than making acquisitions of mid-sized active equity boutiques, partly to ensure it can access managers with a good "fit" with its own culture and expertise.
"We are currently in the process of searching for managers to run global growth and global income strategies," said Kashkari, who joined PIMCO in 2009 following his role overseeing TARP as assistant secretary to the US Treasury.
"Those strategies - value, growth, income and emerging markets - are the focus now, but we are also open-minded about alternatives. Long/short equity could be another possibility, for example.
"The true determinant will always be whether we can find truly world-class equity portfolio managers who can utilise PIMCO's global macroeconomic expertise."
IPE will take a closer look at EqS Pathfinder and PIMCO's strategy to integrate active equities into its broader offering in its March 2010 issue.