Pimco Axes 3 Percent of Global Staff as Assets Decline

Pimco cut its workforce by 3 percent as assets under management have fallen in recent years.

Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco) has cut its workforce by 3 percent, which equates to 68 people, and is said to be offering buyouts as assets under management have fallen in recent years.

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Spokesman Michael Reid said in a statement: “Like any responsible business, Pimco constantly adjusts its resources to capitalize on changing markets and investment opportunities for clients. Our current business plans will reduce expenses in some areas while, of course, ensuring investment and hiring in others.”

Our current business plans will reduce expenses in some areas while ensuring investment and hiring in others.

The fixed income-focused fund management firm’s assets under management have shrunk by around $600 billion to $1.5 trillion, resulting from client outflows. Outflows have come mainly from the core bond portfolios.

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Its executive committee decided on compulsory lay-offs and told the 68 staff yesterday that they were no longer required. The axe falls most heavily on the business side of the firm, but investment manager Brad Kinkelaar who runs dividend-paying equities portfolios will also be leaving.

Pimco said it would still hire in areas where it sees growth potential, although it has also contacted a number of additional staff in the US to encourage them to apply for voluntary severance.  

The company added: “We see growth potential in a range of areas including alternatives, private credit, solutions, client analytics, and regionally in many parts of the world, not to mention the increasing investor demand for many of our non-traditional strategies.”

The rise of low-cost index funds and a growing disillusionment with high fees have rocked the industry, and there have been cost cuts at many firms, particularly those focused on active fund management.

Pimco which is owned by Allianz of Germany, recorded around 2,300 total employees at the end of the first quarter, down 4 percent from 2,400 a year earlier. The firm reduced the number of investment professionals by about 5 percent to 720, according to data on its website.

Other money managers, including BlackRock, Franklin Resources Inc. and Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co., have also been axing employees this year as they compete with low-fee competitors such as Vanguard Group.

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