Pimco’s Gross Wins U.S. Patent on World Bond Index Method

Bill Gross, who runs the world’s largest mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., received a U.S. patent for the methodology behind a global bond index that weighs countries by the size of their economy rather than their indebtedness.

The patent for the construction of the Global Advantage Bond Index was granted last month to Pimco founder and co-chief investment officer Gross, along with Ramin Toloui, global co-head of emerging markets portfolio management, said Mark Porterfield, a Pimco spokesman. By focusing on gross domestic product, the index avoids concentrating on countries saddled with debt and offers a greater weighting for developing markets.

Pimco, which is based in Newport Beach, California, and has $1.92 trillion in assets under management, has said it will pursue strategies with a global focus to navigate a changed economic environment after the 2007 to 2009 financial crisis. The firm, a unit of German insurer Allianz SE, has popularized the term “new normal” to describe an era of lower returns, heightened government regulation, diminishing U.S. clout in the world economy and a bigger role for developing nations.

The Global Advantage Bond Index is used as a benchmark by the $5.24 billion Pimco Global Advantage Strategy Bond Fund, which returned 7.2 percent this year, trailing 58 percent of peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The index was developed in 2009, according to Pimco’s website. The patent for its methodology was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.