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Pimco Hires Bassman From Credit Suisse as Money Manager

Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s largest bond manager, hired Harley Bassman, who was a managing director at Credit Suisse Group AG’s securities arm, as an executive vice president and money manager.

Bassman, who calls himself “The Convexity Maven,” told clients in a note obtained by Bloomberg News that he was ending his 30-year career on Wall Street’s “sell side” and joining the “buy side” so he could “more directly implement my ideas for broad-minded investors.” He’ll start at Pimco’s Newport Beach, California, headquarters in July, reporting to Josh Thimons and Steve Rodosky, the firm said in a statement yesterday.

Thimons focuses on interest-rate derivatives and Rodosky is the lead manager for long duration strategies, according to Pimco’s website. Pimco, which had $1.9 trillion in assets as of Dec. 31, has been under pressure in the past 12 months amid withdrawals and underperformance by its largest fund, Bill Gross’s Total Return, and a leadership shakeup spurred by the announced resignation of Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian in January.

Bassman joined Credit Suisse in 2011, after working on derivatives and structured products at Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch & Co. unit and predecessors since 1985, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records and his personal website. He created Merrill Lynch’s MOVE index tracking anticipated rate volatility in 1998.

Convexity is a measure of the change in duration of a bond, or its sensitivity to interest-rate fluctuations, as market yields rise or fall. The concept carries importance in the valuation of interest-rate options and mortgage-backed securities.

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