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Outflows continue at Pimco's flagship fund

Outflows continue at Pimco's flagship fund
Pimco offices in Newport Beach. The mutual fund company said investors continued to pull money out of its flagship fund in the wake of star manager Bill Gross's departure last fall. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Pacific Investment Management Co. said its flagship Total Return Fund saw outflows of an additional $11.6 billion in January as the mutual fund company continues to try to steady itself four months after the abrupt departure of its star fund manager, Bill Gross.

The outflows represented an 8% drop in the size of Total Return, which now has $134.6 billion under management, a staggering 54% below its peak levels in April 2013 when it stood at $293 billion. January marked the 21st straight month of outflows for Total Return during a strong market for bonds, Pimco's specialty.

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In a statement, the Newport Beach mutual fund company said the outflows came despite strong performance by the fund, now managed by a triad of managers overseen by Daniel Ivascyn.

Ivascyn succeeded Gross as Pimco's chief investment officer in the tumultuous days of September when Gross abruptly left to head a tiny fund at rival Janus Capital. Gross, a Pimco co-founder, later acknowledged in an interview with Bloomberg News that he had been fired.

Pimco said Total Return, which had trailed industry benchmarks for several years under Gross, returned 2.64% in January, beating the benchmark for similar bond funds by more than half a percentage point.

The company said that  since September, when Gross left, the fund has returned 3.99%, beating the benchmark by 1.11 percentage point.

Twitter: @deanstarkman

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