Nice Story of how Jackie Hunt is trying to revive PIMCO. PIMCO saw a shocking decline post exit of its star Bill Gross. Now the fund is slowly trying to come up once again:
Walk down a side alley in Munich, beneath apartments with net curtains in the windows, past figures of female superheroes on a cafe storefront, and you come to the unprepossessing headquarters of a $2 trillion asset manager. On the fifth floor, an elegantly dressed woman leans forward to field questions. She’s focused. In her hands is a coffee mug emblazoned with the word “integrity” in six languages.
Meet Jackie Hunt, one of the most important women in global finance. The 48-year-old South African runs Allianz’s asset management and U.S. life insurance divisions. In July, Hunt took over responsibility for Pacific Investment Management Co., home of what was once the world’s largest bond fund, and Allianz Global Investors. On her watch, Pimco reported its first net inflows since 2013, ending a painful period that culminated in the departure of star co-founder Bill Gross. Hunt doesn’t take credit for Pimco’s revival, though. “It’s great to come in at a point in time that’s an inflection point,” she says in an hourlong interview. “But this is a result of a lot of effort by a lot of people before I arrived.”
A trained accountant with little background in money management, she’s taken on a formidable challenge. The industry is under pressure to consolidate as fees decline, ultralow interest rates erode returns, and investors abandon active managers for low-cost passive strategies. Pimco, the firm based in Newport Beach, Calif., that Allianz bought in 2000, could hardly loom larger on her agenda. Three years of bleeding have cut Pimco’s assets by about a quarter, to $1.47 trillion. Gross’s acrimonious exit in 2014 damaged the brand and fueled criticism of Allianz, which traditionally pursued a hands-off approach to avoid antagonizing its highflying fund managers.
As you read the article, you see it is just about getting basics right and then you wonder how the basics get lost..