Enough time has passed since PIMCO's unceremonious split and eventual reconciliation with co-founder Bill Gross that each party is now living their own truths, on their own terms, unencumbered by the memory of the past. Gross is letting his freak flagfly over at Janus. PIMCO, meanwhile, has managed to erase nearly every vestige of Gross's time there – that is, if you ignore the “Bill Gross Founders Room” aka executive water closet – with a combination of clunky rebranding and honest-to-goodness outperformance.
But something remains lacking at the House That Bill Built. Sure, they're beating benchmarks and attracting assets hand-over-fist, but Gross's absence leaves a crucial quality missing in the bond house. That quality, evidently, is sheer pedantry. And PIMCO boss Manny Roman has a solution:
Roman, whose firm had more than 2,150 employees as of March 31, has been recruiting people with skills in quantitative analysis and risk management, as well as history majors, because he wants diversity of thinking to come up with the best ideas for trades or products.
PIMCO, of course, isn't the only trading firm happy to add wooly-headed liberal arts majors to its roster. But we can't help but wonder if, despite the Gross Traumatic Stress Disorder that still lingers in certain corners of PIMCO, that someone isn't longing for the softer sensibilities Gross once brought to bear in the office.
Regardless, PIMCO is branching out in other ways as well:
“As we become more of a technology company and more ‘quanty,’ we also face different competitors,” Roman said. “The issue is not to compete for someone to come to us from Goldman Sachs. It’s against SpaceX,” he said, referring to Elon Musk’s spacecraft firm.
[...] He’s also looking for those with the passion to go to work at 5:30 a.m., so they can be at Pimco’s Newport Beach, California, headquarters before markets open in New York. Competition for new hires comes from Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc., he said.
Enough with the Silicon Valley/Wall Street rivalry. It's time for some Silicon Valley/Newport Beach drama.