Pimco rehires another ex-executive in bid to calm nervous investors

Pacific Investment Management Co.'s Newport Beach headquarters.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Pacific Investment Management Co. said it rehired yet another executive who had left amid a year of management dissension, another bid by the fixed-income giant to shore up investor confidence and staunch a steady flow of money out of its flagship fund.

Marc Seidner will take over a new position of chief investment officer of nontraditional strategies and head portfolio management for the New York office of the Newport Beach-based firm. He will report to Daniel Ivacyn, the newly named group chief investment officer.

Seidner had served as a Pimco senior portfolio manager from 2009 until last January, but abruptly left the firm around the same time that the company’s chief executive, Mohamed El-Erian, stunned the financial world by announcing his own departure amid reports of clashes with Pimco’s then-superstar fund manager, William H. Gross. A Pimco co-founder, Gross was the subject of growing criticism for the underperformance of Pimco’s flagship Total Return Fund, which Gross had run for years.


The departures of El-Erian and Seidner were followed by a steady stream of management defections that came to a head at the end of September when Gross himself abruptly left for crosstown rival Janus Capital Management amid reports that he was about to be pushed out. Just last week, Pimco rehired two other executives who had left shortly after El-Erian announced his exit.

Seidner’s appointment comes as Pimco is about to release its much anticipated figures for funds flowing in and out of Total Return for October. The fund had hemorrhaged money for 16 straight months, from $293 billion to $222 billion through August, outflows that spiked on word of Gross’ Sept. 26 departure. The fund ended the month at $201.6 billion under management.

As Pimco’s Total Return has suffered, billions have flowed into rival funds, including MetWest Total Return Bond Fund, run by Metropolitan West Asset Management, and DoubleLine Capital, both based in Los Angeles.

Pimco’s Total Return figures are expected later Tuesday or Wednesday.

Twitter: @deanstarkman