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Rating:Pimco Drinks the Milk After Winning the 2011 Race for Flows Not Rated 4.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, January 06, 2012

Pimco Drinks the Milk After Winning the 2011 Race for Flows

News summary by MFWire's editors

Disappointed shareholders pulling cash from Total Return may not have put a damper on Pimco's [profile] year after all. It turns out that after Lipper crunched its numbers the Newport Beach, California asset manager led all mutual fund sponsors in net flows during 2011, providing founder Bill Gross an opportunity to drink his milk.

And CEO Mohamed El-Erian gave time to Bloomberg reporter Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam to drive that point home following Wednesday's widespread media coverage of Total Return's travails in 2011.

El-Erian told Bhaktavatsalam that Pimco pulled in a net $60 billion of deposits last year. He also told her that the $110 billion increase in AUM over 2011 was the fourth-largest increase in its 40-year history. Pimco now claims about $1.35 trillion in total AUM.

Pimco All Asset Fund, Pimco All Asset All Authority Fund and Pimco Emerging Local Bond Fund were among the products that made up for Total Return's $5 billion in net outflows. In fact, All Asset took in a net $6.1 billion alone. Pimco has also gained assets in its EQS equity funds and relatively new ETF products.

El-Erian stressed that product diversity in his interview.
We recognized that the large rate of growth of our core U.S. fixed-income business was unlikely to be sustained. We had a strong obligation to our clients to evolve our product and solution capabilities commensurate with what we identified as major transformations in the global economy and markets.

Meanwhile, Dow Jones' Min Zeng reported that total mutual fund inflows at Pimco reached $38.8 billion in 2011. That is more than the combined flows into the second and third most popular fund complexes.

Lipper's data shows Morgan Stanley's [profile] investment management group pulling in $18.1 billion and DoubleLine Capital [profile] taking in $12.5 billion of net inflow.

JPMorgan Funds [profile] ($12 billion net flows) and Dimensional Fund Advisors [profile] ($9.9 billion) rounded out the top five on Lipper's best seller list.

Industrywide, Lipper shows total net inflows to active mutual funds at just $18.7 billion in 2011.

The discrepancy between the number Lipper provided to Dow Jones and the figure El-Erian gave to Bloomberg is likely the difference between just mutual fund flows and flows across all of Pimco's products, though the Bloomberg report did not make this clear. The Lipper figures does exclude assets in passively managed funds.

"The outflow in the flagship fund was just a small pothole in the road. They got past it pretty easily," Jeff Tjornehoj, senior research analyst for Lipper told Dow Jones. "Pimco has a name everyone wants to associate with. Even the outflow from the flagship fund is very small when you look at the entire firm."

Yet, the Lipper figures show a steep fall off in Pimco's mutual fund flows over the past three years. In 2010 the bond giant took in a net $70.7 billion and that number was down from the $83.9 billion net inflow it reported in 2009.

Still, Pimco's 2011 net flows were far more than in 2008 ($24.8 billion) and 2007 ($5.4 billion). 

Edited by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

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