Pimco Replaced by TCW as Manager of $1.3 Billion Fund

Pacific Investment Management Co. was replaced by TCW Group Inc. as the manager of a $1.3 billion bond fund offered by Columbia Management Investment Advisers LLC, as the world’s biggest bond firm reorganizes management and faces client redemptions.

The fund, previously known as the Pimco Mortgage-Backed Securities Fund, will become the TCW Core Plus Bond Fund, according to a statement today from Los Angeles-based TCW. The fund, offered within a variable annuity strategy from Columbia and created in 2010, invested in highly rated mortgage securities and sought to provide investors with total return through income and capital appreciation.

Pimco, based in Newport Beach, California, has been under pressure in the past 12 months amid investor withdrawals from its mutual funds and underperformance by its largest fund, Bill Gross’s Total Return. Former Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian said in January he was leaving the firm, which triggered a management shakeup, and led to reports of Gross as an autocratic leader.

Pimco, which manages $1.9 trillion in assets, had record net redemptions of $30.4 billion from its mutual funds last year, according to research firm Morningstar Inc. Gross’s $236 billion Total Return, which slumped 1.9 percent last year, lost $41 billion to withdrawals in 2013, according to Morningstar.

TCW Assets

Founded in 1971, TCW manages more than $130 billion in client assets. TCW’s largest fixed-income mutual fund, the $26.9 billion Metropolitan West Total Return Bond Fund, returned 1.1 percent over the past 12 months, ahead of 81 percent of peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Columbia, which manages $356 billion in assets and is a unit of Ameriprise Financial Inc., offered the bond strategy within its Columbia Funds Variable Series Trust II.

Carlos Melville, a spokesman for Columbia Management, declined to comment on the change. Mark Porterfield, a spokesman for Pimco, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail.

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