Pimco hires money manager from Credit Suisse

Mar 11, 2014 @ 9:22 am

Pacific Investment Management Co., the world's largest bond manager, has hired Harley Bassman, who was a managing director at Credit Suisse Group AG's securities arm, as an executive vice president and money manager.

Mr. Bassman, who calls himself “The Convexity Maven,” told clients in a note obtained by Bloomberg News that he was ending his 30-year career on Wall Street's “sell side” and joining the “buy side” so he could “more directly implement my ideas for broad-minded investors.” He'll start at Pimco in July, reporting to Josh Thimons and Steve Rodosky, the firm said in a statement Monday.

Mr. Thimons focuses on interest-rate derivatives and Rodosky is the lead manager for long duration strategies, according to Pimco's website. Pimco, which had $1.9 trillion in assets as of Dec. 31, has been under pressure in the past 12 months amid withdrawals and underperformance by its largest fund, Bill Gross's Total Return,Fund (PTTAX) and a leadership shakeup spurred by the announced resignation of chief executive Mohamed El- Erian in January.

Mr. Bassman joined Credit Suisse in 2011, after working on derivatives and structured products at Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch unit and predecessors since 1985, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. records and his personal website. He created Merrill Lynch's MOVE index tracking anticipated rate volatility in 1998.

Convexity is a measure of the change in duration of a bond, or its sensitivity to interest-rate fluctuations, as market yields rise or fall. The concept carries importance in the valuation of interest-rate options and mortgage-backed securities.

(Bloomberg News)

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