Pimco picks Texas for next U.S. office in tech push

The Newport Beach headquarters of the global investment management firm Pimco.
(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

Driven in part by the intense competition for technology workers in California, Pacific Investment Management Co. has chosen Austin, Texas, for a new office.

The office will open this year and is expected to expand to about 200 employees, mostly new hires, by 2019, according to a statement Tuesday. “Austin will play an important part in Pimco’s continued growth and we are excited to become part of this vibrant, innovative community,” said Emmanuel “Manny” Roman, Pimco’s chief executive.

Pimco sought the new location, its third in the U.S., mostly because of the high cost and competition for recruiting skilled technologists to its headquarters in Newport Beach and its New York office, Roman said in an April 5 interview. Financial firms including Pimco and BlackRock Inc. are increasingly turning to advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence, for portfolio management, economic forecasting, client relations and other operations.


Roman cited Charles Schwab Corp. as a model of a financial firm that established a facility outside California to recruit technologists. Since 2013, Schwab has been developing office space in Phoenix, Denver, Austin and Dallas.

“We scrubbed the whole of the U.S. in terms of tech talent, location, airport, taxes, what have you,” Roman said during the interview in Newport Beach. “But the core of the firm is staying here.”

Austin, with a population approaching 1 million, is sometimes nicknamed “Silicon Hills,” with more than 5,600 technology companies and 150,000 college students, including the University of Texas at Austin, according to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. As well as hosting the annual South by Southwest conference, it’s home to offices for companies such as Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Inc.

Dimensional Fund Advisors, a money manager with $586 billion in assets and more than 1,200 employees, moved its headquarters to Austin in 2008 from Santa Monica.

About half the employees at Pimco’s Austin office will work in technology, with others in marketing and wealth management but not portfolio managers or traders, Roman said.

“This office is one of many investments Pimco is making to take advantage of opportunities in the asset management industry globally, including expansion in the Asia-Pacific region and additional resources in many areas including technology,” Roman said in the statement.


Patrick Feigley, head of sales for U.S. global wealth management, will lead the office, the firm’s 13th worldwide.

Pimco has trading floors at offices in Newport Beach, New York, London, Munich, Tokyo and Singapore, with a new one opening in Hong Kong. It’s relocating a Brazil office to Sao Paulo from Rio de Janeiro this year and has applied to open for business in Taiwan. The last new office Pimco opened was in Rio in 2012.

Pimco, a unit of German insurance firm Allianz, oversaw $1.77 trillion in assets as of March 31.