EUROPE – PIMCO has expanded its corporate bond team in Europe with two new appointments in portfolio management and research.

Robert Mead has been appointed as head of European investment grade specialist group, and Ivor Schucking will be director of European credit research.

Mead will be responsible for investment grade portfolio management for European credit, and will report to Scott Mather, head of portfolio management in Munich. Prior to joining PIMCO, Mead worked for Citigroup Asset Management and JPMorgan Investment Management.

Schucking will manage the credit research in Europe, and will be responsible for a team of eight analysts in London and Munich. He reports to Charles Wyman, head of global credit research, and will work closely with Mather, and Emanuele Ravano, head of portfolio management in London.

Commenting on the expansion into the European investment grade corporate bond market, Mead said: “The euro has been a major priority for us for some time, and there are several trends at the moment which have spurred the expansion into corporate bonds in Europe – one being the growth of the euro versus the dollar. In terms of sophistication and liquidity the European corporate bond market is catching up with the US market, and companies are thinking more about funding, which is increasing the supply.”

Also, points out Mead, investors are thinking of credit on more of a global basis, rather than looking at individual currencies now, and the euro is the second most important market for corporate bonds next to the dollar market.

PIMCO is one of the world’s leading fixed income fund management companies, with more than 120 billion dollars (102 billion euros) managed in continental Europe and the UK, and more than 300 billion dollars in the US. It is majority owned by insurer, Allianz Group.