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Pimco’s Banet to Quit For Food Truck Selling Sandwiches

June 4 (Bloomberg) -- Jeremie Banet, a fund manager at Pacific Investment Management Co. specializing in inflation-protected bonds, plans to leave the firm to start a food truck business in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Banet, 36, is leaving the Newport Beach, California-based company June 10 on good terms after a “change of heart,” he said today in a telephone interview. Banet, who joined Pimco in 2011, said he will sell croque monsieurs, grilled ham-and-cheese sandwiches that originated in French cafes.

Banet, who’s French, joined Pimco in mid-2011 after a career trading inflation-linked investments at Nomura Securities Co. and BNP Paribas SA. He was a money manager on Pimco’s real return team, which specializes in investments that shield investors from inflation, such as Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, commodity indexes and real estate.

The $15.4 billion Pimco Real Return Fund, led by Mihir Worah, one of Pimco’s six deputy chief investment officers, has returned 5 percent this year, better than 84 percent of peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Over the past five years, its returns of 6.4 percent annually beat 96 percent of similarly managed funds.

“I would like to thank Jeremie for his contributions to Pimco’s clients and wish him the very best in this next phase of his career,” Worah, head of the real return and multi-asset teams, said in an e-mail.

Supplementing TIPs

Pimco, led by Bill Gross, put in place the six deputy CIOs this year after former Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian’s resignation triggered the biggest management shakeup in its history. Pimco, a unit of Munich insurer Allianz SE, manages about $1.9 trillion in assets.

The Real Return fund benefited this year as TIPS rebounded, a bright spot for Pimco, which has struggled with lackluster performance at its main fund and client redemptions. Worah supplements TIPS with a mix of assets including corporate bonds and emerging-market currencies, giving him more flexibility than some of his competitors. The fund is required to have at least 80 percent of its money in inflation-protected debt. Worah has about 90 percent in TIPS because he is convinced the market still underestimates the prospects for inflation, he said in an interview in April.

Banet holds a master’s degree in applied economics and a bachelor’s degree from Paris Dauphine University. Banet said his family has a history in the food business. His grandmother owned and edited culinary magazine Cuisine et Vins de France in the 1950s and 1960s, he said.

Los Angeles has become a hotbed for food trucks serving multi-ethnic and gourmet cuisine. In his autobiography, “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food,” Roy Choi, a Korean-American classically-trained chef, described how he drove his career to new heights by starting a food truck where he prepared a blend of Asian and Mexican cuisine.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam in Boston at sbhaktavatsa@bloomberg.net; Elizabeth Stanton in New York at estanton@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam

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