Pimco has been reducing its exposure to junk bonds and investment-grade corporate debt following the latest credit rally, the firm's group chief investment officer, Dan Ivascyn, said on Monday.
"Based on valuations, we went into high-yield and investment-grade before the Brexit referendum," Ivascyn said in a telephone interview. "We've seen a big, powerful rally in risk assets tied to more central bank accommodation, in the wake of Brexit, so we are selling into it."
Britain's vote on June 23 to leave the European Union, known as Brexit, has compounded an uncertain global economic outlook.
Ivascyn, who helps oversee $1.51 trillion at Pacific Investment Management Co, said he's positive on housing-related corporate credits and non-agency mortgage-backed securities because "they still have room to move higher in price."
Last week, Newport Beach, California-based Pimco made news when it poached Emmanuel "Manny" Roman from Man Group, the world's biggest listed hedge fund, as its chief executive officer.
Pimco has experienced several years of cash withdrawals in several of its main funds, including its flagship Pimco Total Return Fund, amid lackluster performance and executive changes. Bill Gross, a co-founder who became known as "the Bond King" during his years at Pimco and oversaw Total Return, left in 2014 for distant rival Janus Capital Group Inc.
Ivascyn said the hiring of Roman, who is widely credited with leading a turnaround at Man Group which included a raft of big acquisitions, does not translate into a similar path for Pimco.
"Pimco is not going on an M&A binge," Ivascyn said. "Although Manny provides great perspective on alternative businesses, he also appreciates the traditional business of fixed-income at Pimco."
Ivascyn said he has communicated with several clients and consultants about the hiring of Roman, noting it is not an unusual practice after a leadership change.
Overall, Ivascyn said investors need to acknowledge the changing landscape of the asset management business and expect some consolidation. "There are many changing forces in the financial markets as well as in asset management and we have to be prepared," he said.
Asked about the U.S. presidential elections, Ivascyn said Pimco's internal analysis of demographics and electoral map indicate odds are with a Hillary Clinton victory, even though polls continue to be fluid and "move around a lot during party conventions," as they always do historically.
"The odds are better for a Clinton victory given internal analysis of electoral map," Ivascyn said.
Meanwhile, a new top executive at German insurer Allianz wants to forge closer ties with its U.S. asset management business, Pimco, according to the Financial Times. A report in Monday's editions of the newspaper quoted Jackie Hunt,
Allianz's new asset management chief, as saying Pimco and Europe's biggest insurer both saw a need for a closer relationship.
"You'll see Allianz being more involved in the asset management businesses than in the past," Hunt told the FT.
Hunt started her new role earlier this month. She oversees asset managers at Pimco and Allianz Global Investors, as well as Allianz's U.S. life insurance business.
Last week, Pimco appointed a new chief executive officer, Manny Roman. It has faced turmoil following significant investor outflows in recent years and the departure of key executives, including its founder and former chief investment officer Bill Gross in 2014.
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