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Pimco Said to Hire Mortgage Trader Cudzil From Nomura

PIMCO Bill Gross
Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Michael Cudzil, head of pass-through mortgage-securities trading at Nomura Securities International Inc., is joining Pacific Investment Management Co., said four people with direct knowledge of the hiring.

Cudzil, 36, who focuses on government-backed home-loan bonds, will be a portfolio manager working in the mortgage group led by Scott Simon at Pimco, which oversees the world’s largest bond fund, according to two of the people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Cudzil, now based in New York, will relocate to California to join Newport Beach-based Pimco.

Pimco’s Bill Gross in May boosted the mortgage holdings of his $263 billion Total Return Fund to 52 percent, almost a three-year high and up from 25 percent last July. Government-backed housing debt has gained this year as investors seek notes with limited default risk and speculate that the Federal Reserve may expand its purchases of the securities to bolster housing. That helped the fund outperform 99 percent of rivals with returns of 6.6 percent in 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Jonathan Hodgkinson, a Nomura Holdings Inc. spokesman, confirmed that Cudzil will leave the Tokyo-based firm “to pursue an opportunity on the buy side.” Pimco’s Mark Porterfield didn’t return phone and e-mail messages.

Cudzil’s twin brother Jerry left Morgan Stanley in April to head U.S. credit trading for asset manager TCW Group Inc. Michael, who graduated along with Jerry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997, joined Nomura in 2009 from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp., where he had worked since 2005, according to records maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

“Nomura has built a top-tier diversified securitized products business in the Americas and is well-positioned to support the franchise going forward,” Hodgkinson said in a phone interview.

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