Pimco Bolsters Equities Staff, Names Tuttle as Trading Head

Aug 19, 2014 9:18 am ET

(Updates with details of equity expansion in third paragraph.)

Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Pacific Investment Management Co., Bill Gross’s bond firm that’s expanding into stocks, named Melissa Tuttle as global head of equity trading and added staff in its latest effort to bolster the business.

Iain McNaught, Simon Peters, Sean Heymann and Aylon Ben- Shlomo will join Pimco’s global equities teams, according to a statement today from the Newport Beach, California-based investment firm. Tuttle, an executive vice president in London, will manage day-to-day operations and performance oversight of Pimco’s regional equity desks and staff.

Pimco, which started pushing into equities in 2009, has been slow to gather assets in its stocks strategies, with its four main equity mutual funds accounting for less than 1 percent of its $1.97 trillion in assets. Michael Diekmann, chief executive officer of Pimco parent Allianz SE, said last year that the bond manager’s expansion into stocks was proving more difficult than expected.

Led by co-founder and chief investment officer Gross, Pimco more than five years ago started diversifying beyond fixed income in anticipation of rising interest rates. The firm last year hired Virginie Maisonneuve from Schroders PLC to lead Pimco’s equity push after Neel Kashkari, the previous head of the unit, stepped down, saying he wanted to pursue a career in public service.

Among today’s hires, McNaught will focus on growth strategies in technology, media and telecoms. McNaught was previously a global equity analyst at Sarasin & Partners LLP in London. Peters will focus on growth strategies in financials. He was previously head of financial specialist sales at Nomura Holdings Inc. in London. Both will be based in Pimco’s London office.

Heymann will be a research analyst with Pimco’s dividend strategy. He previously worked at Neuberger Berman Group LLC, where he was the lead analyst on master limited partnerships. Ben-Shlomo also will be a research analyst for dividend strategy. Both will be based in Newport Beach.