PIMCO Brings Bernanke Aboard as Senior Advisor

Apr 29 2015 | 12:15pm ET

PIMCO has hired former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as a senior advisor to the firm, the second such engagement this month. 

Bernanke will contribute primarily in the areas of economic expertise, according to a statement released by PIMCO on Wednesday. He has been associated with PIMCO for some time, speaking at the investment management company's last two investment strategy symposiums. 

Bernanke is not the first former Fed chair to join PIMCO's ranks; Alan Greenspan, who was head of the Fed for 18 years, also became a consultant to PIMCO after leaving government service.

“I am delighted to work together with Pimco’s strong team of investment professionals and contribute to its investment process in my role as an advisor to the firm,” Bernanke said in the statement.

Bernanke's engagement comes shortly after he inked a similar deal with Ken Griffin's hedge fund Citadel. He left the Fed in February 2014.

Institutional investors worldwide are seeking guidance on exactly how they should navigate the normalization of U.S. monetary policy after six years of highly unconventional operations including zero interest rates and aggressive quantitative easing.

In addition to Bernanke, the company has announced the addition of several heavy hitters in recent months, including former Morgan Stanley chief economist Joachim Fels, U.S. economic advisor Gene Sperling and 2001 Nobel economics prize winner Michael Spence.

PIMCO, which oversees a whopping $1.59 trillion in assets and manages the world's largest bond mutual fund,  has been looking for ways to stem the massive client defections underway since it separated with co-CIOs Bill Gross and Mohamed El-Erian last year.

Although the pace has lessened so far this year, the $7.3 billlion pulled from the company's Total Return Fund was its 24th consecutive month of withdrawals. 

Performance, however, has been steady. The Total Return Fund posted net returns of 2.22% in the first quarter, outperforming its benchmark by 61 basis points, according to data from Reuters.


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