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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ivascyn's Got Gross Beat

Reported by Irene Park

Just because Bill Gross may be the best-known bond picker at Pimco [profile] doesn't mean he's the best.

Bloomberg Riskless Return Ranking ranks Daniel Ivascyn above the Pimco legend, at least among 26 Pimco bond funds bigger than $1 billion, reports Christopher Condon for Bloomberg. Ivascyn runs the $11.2 billion Pimco Income Fund, which rose 13.8 percent within the last five years after adjusting for price swings, compared with 9.6 percent by Gross' Total Return Fund.

But Ivascyn warns that the comparison isn't necessarily an "apples to apples comparison" on account of the two funds having different objectives. Gross' fund aims to give investors a higher total return, while the Income Fund provides investors with a consistent dividend stream. Also, note that "in a world of so much volatility, staying senior in the capital structure has significantly insulated the fund. It allows for a significant margin of error if the world deteriorates," Ivascyn told Bloomberg.

Nevertheless, Morningstar fund analyst Eric Jacobson praised Gross' underling. "This speaks to the depth and quality of the research bench that Pimco has that often gets overlooked when people are talking about Bill Gross," he said. Morningstar, by the way, named Gross the fixed-income manager of the decade in January 2010.

Some reasons for 42-year-old Ivascyn's better performance? Investing in higher-quality mortgage-backed securities, picking corporate bonds that are senior in the capital structure i.e., loading up on debt he deems less risky.

Read more about Ivascyn's fund at Bloomberg.  

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