Pimco’s Emerging-Market Equity Research Head Leaves Firm

Pacific Investment Management Co., a bond fund company that started expanding into stocks more than three years ago, said its head of emerging-markets equity research John Longhurst has left the firm.

“After a 28-year career in the industry, Mr. Longhurst has decided to step back from the industry for personal reasons,” Michael Reid, a spokesman for Newport Beach, California-based Pimco, said in an e-mailed statement. “Mr. Longhurst’s primary research coverage of industrial companies has been assumed by Martin Moorman, who has extensive research experience of over 20 years in this area.”

Longhurst joined Pimco in October 2011 when the firm added five investment professionals to complete its emerging-markets stock group. His exit comes five months after Neel Kashkari, who joined Pimco in December 2009 to help oversee its expansion into stocks and served as head of global equities, said he was leaving to consider returning to public service. Pimco, which has more than 90 percent of its assets in bond-related strategies, has been seeking to reduce its dependence on the fixed-income market. Co-founder Bill Gross has said that the three-decade bull market in bonds probably ended two months ago.

The $568 million Pimco EqS Emerging Markets Fund (PEQWX), which began in March 2011, declined 7.4 percent this year through yesterday and gained 7.6 percent in the past 12 months, beating 64 percent of peers in both periods, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fund uses tail-risk hedging to protect investors from losses during extreme market volatility.

Longhurst’s exit was reported June 24 by Financial News. Pimco, a unit of Munich-based insurer Allianz SE (ALV), managed $2 trillion in assets as of March 31.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Leondis in New York at aleondis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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