Morningstar Incorporated

Pimco owner stands by Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross

Allianz SE, the German company that owns Pacific Investment Management Co., is standing behind Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross, even as his main fund trails peers' and struggles with heavy investor withdrawals.

"We want Bill Gross to work as CIO for as long as he is willing and able," said Jay Ralph, who oversees asset management for Allianz.

Allianz Chief Executive Michael Diekmann was forced to defend Pimco against shareholder criticism during the insurer's annual meeting in May as Gross' returns lagged rivals' for the third year in four and investors have pulled $64 billion from his Pimco Total Return Fund since May 2013.

"Bill Gross has always been...