Pacific Life Insurance Co., the insurer where Pacific Investment Management Co. was started as a bond unit in 1971, is moving money from Bill Gross’s old firm to Janus Capital Group Inc., where the bond legend joined last month.
Pacific Life filed an application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to move some separate accounts to Janus Aspen Series Balanced Portfolio from the Pimco Global Multi-Asset Managed Allocation Portfolio, according to a filing. The substitution will occur on or about March 6. After Dec. 1, Pacific Life won’t accept new allocation instructions to the Pimco portfolio.
Investors rattled by Gross’s surprise departure are taking their money from Pimco, pulling a record $23.5 billion in September from the Total Return Fund, the world’s biggest bond fund that Gross, 70, ran until his exit on Sept. 26. They’re moving money to competing funds, or parking money in money-market funds and exchange-traded funds while they re-evaluate their holdings.
Marisa Schaeffer, a spokeswoman for Pacific Life, and Steven Shapiro, a spokesman for Denver-based Janus with Communications Strategy Group, didn’t immediately provide comment. Mark Porterfield, a spokesman for Pimco, declined to comment.
Pimco, the Newport Beach, California-based firm that oversees $1.87 trillion, was started as a unit of the insurer previously known as Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co.
In 1994, Pimco and four other asset managers owned by Pacific Life did a reverse merger with Thomson Advisory Group LP, in which a closely held company acquires a public company. The combined entity, Pimco Advisors LP, became publicly traded, a run which ended when Allianz SE completed its acquisition of the money manager in 2000.
Gross, whose main fund at Pimco trailed peers since the beginning of 2013, left after his deputies threatened to quit and management debated his ouster, according to people familiar with the matter.
The $1.15 billion Pimco Global Multi-Asset Fund, run by Vineer Bhansali, Curtis Mewbourne, and Mihir Worah, has returned 3.2 percent this year, outperforming 89 percent of comparable funds, after losing 8.4 percent in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fund has lost 5.2 percent this month, dropping to the 18th percentile against peers.
The fund, which Gross has never run, was at various times managed by former Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian and Saumil Parikh, who runs the firm’s cyclical economic forums, was added as a manager. The team shifted in January after El-Erian announced his resignation from Pimco.
Pacific Life is putting money instead into an asset- allocation strategy led by Janus’s Gibson Smith and Marc Pinto.
Gross is responsible for managing the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund. The fund, which started in May, has lost 0.3 percent in the past month, outperforming 27 percent of peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fund received $66.4 million in September, according to Morningstar Inc., and had about $80 million under management at the end of September, the data show.
The market anticipated $25 billion to $50 billion in new assets at Janus after Gross joined, which may be “setting up for possible disappointment,” Citigroup Inc.’s William Katz wrote in a report to clients Oct. 3.
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