(Updates with Pimco assets in fourth paragraph.)
Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Pacific Investment Management Co. relocated its global co-head of emerging markets to Singapore from the U.S. as the Asia-Pacific region’s significance to the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund grows.
Ramin Toloui started in Pimco’s Singapore office on Jan. 5, having relocated from the company’s headquarters in Newport Beach, California. The company boosted its Asia-Pacific headcount by 20 percent last year to 140 employees, according to a statement today.
“Asia-Pacific has become a much more important contributor to the growth of the world economy, so major asset managers can’t really afford not having presence there,” said Suki Mann, head of credit strategy at Societe Generale SA in London.
Pimco’s assets rose by $110 billion in 2011 to about $1.35 trillion, the fourth-largest increase in its 40-year history. The $244 billion Pimco Total Return fund, which more than quadrupled in size over the past decade to become the world’s largest mutual fund, had its first yearly withdrawals last year after manager Bill Gross trailed benchmarks because of his avoidance of U.S. Treasuries.
In an October letter to clients titled “Mea Culpa,” Gross called 2011 a “stinker” of a year. After eliminating Treasuries from the portfolio in February, he returned to the securities, bringing government and Treasury debt to 23 percent as of Nov. 30. Treasuries returned 9.8 percent in 2011, the most since 2008, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch Indexes.
Pimco started operations in Asia in 1996 and has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Asia accounts for more than 11 percent of the company’s assets under management as of the end of 2011, according to the statement.
“We expect robust growth in Asia,” Ki Myung Hong, Pimco’s Asia-Pacific head, said in July.
As part of its expansion in the region last year, the company hired Ana Dhoraisingam as head of business development for Southeast Asia and Sean Jutahkiti as a Singapore-based Asia- Pacific analyst.
--Editors: Katrina Nicholas, Michael Shanahan
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