The Allianz Group is one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide. With approximately 148,000 employees worldwide (as of December 31, 2013), Allianz serves over 83 million customers in more than 70 countries. On the insurance side, Allianz is the market leader in the... More
Sunday, Apr 136:11 AM
Sunday, Apr 136:11 AM| 8 Comments
- Bill Gross' and Mohamed El-Erian's different styles made "very good complements" in serving Pimco's clients and "leading the firm forward through both smooth and rough markets," the latter has told the WSJ. "That worked very well for a long time, until last year."
- The WSJ describes El-Erian as having a "deliberate manner," which contrasted with Gross' "freewheeling style." El-Erian's comments come after he resigned in January and following media articles highlighting the break-down in the relationship between the men.
- Still, El-Erian maintained that he "always had" and still has "an enormous amount of respect for Bill."
- El-Erian also highlighted the desire to see his family more as another reason why he resigned from Pimco.
- Pimco's parent company is Allianz (AZSEY).
- Pimco funds: AUD, BABZ, BUND, CAD, CORP, DI, FIVZ, FORX, GOVY
Friday, Apr 47:33 AM
Friday, Apr 47:33 AM| 4 Comments
- Reuters contacted the top 10 investors in Allianz (AZSEY) to gauge their views on the troubles at cash-cow Pimco amid the messy divorce from Mohamed El-Erian, poor returns, and continuing outflows from the flagship Total Return Fund.
- Six declined to comment, one was fine with Allianz's management of the situation, but three expressed a high level of concern and said Allianz needed to convince them Pimco's issues were under control. Specifically, they want Allianz to rethink Pimco's new management structure which now has six deputy CIOs under Bill Gross. They also would like to see assurances on Gross' pay and a detailed plan on how Pimco plans to broaden its focus beyond fixed-income.
- "The leash is obviously too long because there is a performance issue now," says one top-10 investor. "A fully owned subsidiary should not be run like this."
- One investor - not on the top-10 list, but still a big one - is considering taking the highly unusual step (in Germany) to publicly raise questions about governance at Pimco at Allianz's annual meeting.
Wednesday, Apr 210:53 AM
Wednesday, Apr 210:53 AM| Comment!
- Investors pulled $3.1B from Pimco's Total Return Fund in March, the 11th straight month of outflows, and bringing exits YTD up to $8.2B for the mutual fund now with AUM of $232B. The far-smaller ETF version is BOND.
- The outflows come as Gross' cold hand continues, with Total Return trailing 95% of peers by losing 0.57% in March. The benchmark Barclays Aggregate Bond Index (AGG) lost 0.17%. Over longer time frames, however, Gross' fund remains the standard.
- Pimco parent Allianz (AZSEY -0.1%)
Friday, Mar 2812:07 PM
Friday, Mar 2812:07 PM| 7 Comments
- The world's biggest bond mutual fund (ETF version: BOND) had a YTD total return of 1.28% through Thursday, according to Morningstar, trailing 87% of its peers. The benchmark Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (ETF: AGG) returned 2.03%.
- Already keeping a close eye on Gross' performance following 2013's 1.92% loss - the worst performance since 1994 - investors have been shaken by the ugly divorce between Pimco and Mohamed El-Erian.
- Longer-term: Total Return has averaged a total return of 6.91% over the past five years, beating 55% of peers and the benchmark return of 4.89%. Its 6.6% average return over the past 15 years beat 96% of peers.
- The Total Return Fund had $41B of outflows in 2013, with investors pulling another $5.1B in this year's first two months. Pimco parent Allianz (AZSEY -0.7%) continues to struggle alongside its cash cow. It's off 7.6% YTD.
Friday, Mar 2111:30 AM
Friday, Mar 2111:30 AM| 2 Comments
- "When times get tough, on Wall Street or in Newport Beach, Calif., the tough turn on each other," writes David Weidner, not seeing anything too unusual in the Pimco saga. These sorts of ugly partings happen all the time amid the massive egos on Wall Street. Consider Citigroup with Sandy Weil and Jamie Dimon, Morgan Stanley with Phil Purcell and John Mack, and Bear Stearns with Jimmy Cayne and Warren Spector.
- "In every case, the splits occurred under tremendous pressure. Much like a marriage headed for divorce, long simmering incompatibilities, jealousies and flaws rose to the surface ... When push comes to shove, it is always better to be king. No. 2’s instinctively need to watch their backs. You want normal? That is normal."
- Allianz (AZSEY)
- Pimco CEFs: PTY, PDI, PMF, PGP, PKO, PFL, PFN, PCN, PCM, PHK, RCS, PMF, PML
- Previous: Gross becoming "increasingly illogical and irrational."
Thursday, Mar 204:42 PM
Thursday, Mar 204:42 PM| 9 Comments
- It turns out it was three, not two lined up to be deputy CIOs to Bill Gross amid the departure of Mohamed El-Erian. One - Marc Seidner - resigned in January just hours before he was to be publicly announced in his new position. Seidner - who followed El-Erian to Pimco in 2009 - reportedly had found working there increasingly difficult over the last 18 months, with Gross becoming "increasingly illogical and irrational."
- In other news Pimco has lost a $1.3B bond fund mandate to TCW.
- Pimco's parent: Allianz (AZSEY)
- Among Pimco's closed-end offerings are: PTY, PDI, PMF, PGP, PKO, PFL, PFN, PCN, PCM, PHK, RCS, PMF, PML. There's also the ETF version of Bill Gross' Total Return Fund: BOND.
Wednesday, Mar 1912:22 PM
Wednesday, Mar 1912:22 PM| 21 Comments
- “There is a heightened level of uncertainty in the post El-Erian era surrounding the questions of whether Pimco’s latest senior staffing transitions will prove beneficial to investors [and] whether recent and future senior-level departures indicate a persistent side effect of the firm’s pressure-cooker culture," says analyst Eric Jacobsen cutting Pimco's "stewardship" rating to C from B and the "parent pillar score" - which examines manager turnover, investment culture, and fee levels - to Neutral from Positive.
- It's not automatic, but look for the big-picture rating changes to quickly filter through to the ratings of individual Pimco funds, says Morningstar.
- Among Pimco's closed-end offerings are PTY, PDI, PMF, PGP, PKO, PFL, PFN, PCN, PCM, PHK, RCS, PMF, PML. There's also the ETF version of Bill Gross' Total Return Fund: BOND.
- Pimco parent Allianz SE (AZSEY -2%)
Friday, Mar 148:04 AM
Friday, Mar 148:04 AM| 1 Comment
- Whether Allianz (AZSEY) is struggling (off 8% YTD) because of outflows and soap operas at its cash cow subsidiary Pimco, or from general equity weakness in Germany (Dax off about 10% YTD), who knows, but JPM says the company's a buy in spite of Pimco concerns. Assets under management at Pimco would have to fall 13% for Allianz to underperform its targets in 2014.
Thursday, Mar 1310:23 AM
Thursday, Mar 1310:23 AM| Comment!
- A nice bull move in fixed-income wasn't a help for Pimco, which saw $2.5B in outflows in February, making it the only one among the top 10 asset management firms to see an exodus of cash. The Gross/El-Erian soap opera isn't helping, but neither is weak performance. Notably losing money was Pimco's High Yield Fund which saw $510M leave while its competitors racked up gains.
- Bill Gross' Total Return Fund (ETF equivalent: BOND) saw $1.6B in outflows in February to add to $3.5B in January, not to mention last year's big exits.
- Pimco is owned by Allianz (AZSEY +0.5%).
Friday, Mar 75:22 AM
Friday, Mar 75:22 AM| 18 Comments
- Bill Gross has accused departing Pimco (BOND) CEO Mohamed El-Erian of "trying to undermine" him, telling Reuters that he has evidence that El-Erian "wrote" a recent WSJ article that described the breakdown in the men's relationship and didn't portray Gross in a particularly flattering light.
- When asked what the evidence was, Gross replied: "You're on his side. Great, he's got you, too, wrapped around his charming right finger."
- Gross also indicated that he has monitored El-Erian's phone calls.
- A Pimco spokesman later denied that Gross made the comments that Reuters attributes to him, while the WSJ hotly refuted that El-Erian "wrote" the article.
- Pimco's parent company is Allianz (AZSEY).
- Pimco funds: AUD, BABZ, BUND, CAD, CORP, DI, FIVZ, FORX, GOVY
Friday, Feb 2811:41 AM
Friday, Feb 2811:41 AM| Comment!
- A trading floor doesn't thrive on "sweet talking," says Bill Gross (BOND), responding in the WSJ to an earlier Journal report painting The Bond King as a martinet.
- The back and forth comes amid the departure of Mohamed El-Erian - previously Gross' heir apparent - from Pimco. Michael Diekmann - CEO of Pimco parent Allainz (AZSEY) - says he's "very happy" with Pimco's new management structure and sees no reason to meddle in its U.S. cash cow.
- "It's like dealing with family - you don't always produce a productive family by sweet talking and always being inclusive," says Gross. "There's a time for soft love and time for hard love.…I can admit to both." The recent management shuffle at Pimco means more power-sharing at the top, says Gross. "It's a huge change."
- Incoming Pimco CEO Doug Hodge says he's fielded a few calls this week, but it's mostly been "remarkably quiet ... They hire us not because it's happy talk around here but because we deliver performance."
- See also: Matthew Klein's defense of Gross
Monday, Aug 192013, 10:43 AM
Monday, Aug 192013, 10:43 AM| Comment!
- With European stocks moving back into favor, JPMorgan offers up its 32 top picks.
- The broad thesis suggests rising yields - rather than being a headwind to equities - are a good thing as they'll "jumpstart the long-awaited reversal in flows" from fixed income to stocks. The team also prefers value over growth, suggesting 6 years of value underperformance is about to change. Stay away from defensive sectors - telecoms, staples, healthcare, utilities - as they display a negative correlation to bond yields.
- Among the picks: TOT, RIO, EADSY.PK, EADSF.PK, BAYRY.PK, AZSEY.PK, SCGLY.PK, UBS, ESYJY.PK, VLKAY.PK, PUBGY.PK.
Friday, Jul 192013, 2:59 AMAIG (AIG), MetLife (MET) and Prudential Financial (PRU) are among nine global insurers that have been categorized as "systemically important" by the G20's Financial Stability Board. The designation, which U.S. authorities also want to place on the firms, will mean they'll have to hold higher capital reserves, and formulate recovery and resolution plans to limit any fallout should they collapse. Unlike in the U.S., GE Capital's (GE) not on the list, although Prudential PLC (PRU), Aviva (AV), Germany's Allianz (ALIZF.PK), France's Axa (AXAHY.PK), China's Ping An (PIAIF.PK) and Italy's Assicurazioni Generali (ARZGF.PK) are. |Friday, Jul 192013, 2:59 AM| 4 Comments
Sunday, Jun 92013, 5:24 AMBerkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) is reportedly interested in acquiring assets that Italian insurer Unipol (UGFNY.OB) must sell as part of a rescue of peer company Fondiaria-SAI. Berkshire faces competition for the assets, which have premiums of €1.7B, from Allianz (AZSEY.PK), Axa (AXAHY.PK) and Aviva (AV), among others. Non-binding offers are expected on Friday. |Sunday, Jun 92013, 5:24 AM| Comment!
Monday, Apr 22012, 9:28 AMHartford Financial (HIG) +1.4% premarket after announcing it will pay $2.43B to buy back debt and warrants issued to Allianz (AZSEY.PK). The U.S. insurance company turned to Allianz, Germany’s largest insurer, for capital in 2008, agreeing to pay 10% on $1.75B of debt as capital markets froze; today's move allows HIG to replace the $1.75B it owes with new debt at a lower cost. |Monday, Apr 22012, 9:28 AM| Comment!
Sunday, Jan 152012, 8:12 AMAlso in Merkel's response to the S&P downgrades comes this chilling idea: She says she will consider legislation to bar institutional investors such as insurance companies from selling bonds when ratings are downgraded, or fell below investment grade. If banning short sales doesn't work, why not step it up a notch and ban selling altogether? |Sunday, Jan 152012, 8:12 AM| 75 Comments
Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.