Bloomberg News

Pimco’s Bridwell to Head Alternatives in Hedge Fund Push

September 28, 2011

(Adds details on assets in second paragraph.)

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Pacific Investment Management Co. named Jennifer Bridwell head of alternatives product development as the firm expands hedge funds and distressed-debt strategies.

Bridwell was previously head of mortgage strategies development at Newport Beach, California-based Pimco, where she has worked since 2005, the firm said today in a statement. Pimco has attracted $16 billion in assets into such strategies over the past decade as it opened funds to invest in troubled mortgages and bonds backed by real-estate loans, the firm said.

Pimco, best known for its fixed-income mutual funds such as those run by Bill Gross, has offered hedge funds to institutional clients for the past decade, and since 2007 has opened funds to buy distressed securities that fell in value after the global credit crisis. Under Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian, the firm is also pushing into products such as stock funds and exchange-traded funds.

Pimco’s hedge funds and distressed debt products will be housed in the new alternatives division overseen by Bridwell.

Pimco raised $2.4 billion this year for the Bravo fund, short for Bank Recapitalization and Value Opportunities Fund, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The Bravo fund, which buys debt such as troubled commercial and residential mortgages, also targets smaller lenders and community banks and will be run by a team of Pimco managers.

Distressed Funds

Similar funds by Pimco include the Pimco Distressed Mortgage Fund II LP, started in early 2009. Pimco also manages the Distressed Senior Credit Opportunities Fund, which returned more than 60 percent in the year ended June 30, 2010, according to a spokesman for the comptroller of the New York City Employees Retirement System, an investor in the fund.

Pimco, led by co-investment chiefs Gross and El-Erian, manages more than $1.3 trillion in assets. In 2009, the firm said it would diversify into equities, led by former Treasury official Neel Kashkari. Pimco’s equity funds have attracted more than $4 billion in assets.

In a rare reversal for Pimco, home to the world’s biggest mutual fund, the firm abandoned a separate effort to oversee money for endowments and foundations that would have used outside managers, four people familiar with the matter said this month.

Pimco is a unit of Munich-based insurer Allianz SE.

--Editors: Christian Baumgaertel, Steven Crabill

-0- Sep/28/2011 15:37 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam in Boston at sbhaktavatsa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net


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