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Universa, Pimco Posted Gains on Black-Swan Funds

Black-swan funds run by Universa Investments LP and Pacific Investment Management Co., designed to protect against financial cataclysms, paid off this month as stocks took their steepest dive in almost three years.

Universa, a hedge fund founded and owned by Mark Spitznagel that consults with New York University professor Nassim Taleb, had a 10-fold return this year through Aug. 8 on the capital in its black-swan accounts, said a person familiar with the firm who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Black-swan clients of Pimco, manager of the world’s biggest mutual fund, saw gains this month of as much as 5.5 times the premiums they paid, according to Vineer Bhansali, a Pimco portfolio manager.