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Russell Investments, Fort Lauderdale pension ax Pimco

Bill Gross
Tim Boyle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bill Gross

Russell Investments and the Fort Lauderdale Police & Fire Retirement System said on Thursday they dropped Pacific Investment Management Co as the manager of their bond portfolios following the departure of Bill Gross in late September.

Russell Investments, which has more than $279 billion in assets under management, said it is replacing Pimco with Scout Investments Inc on its U.S. short-duration and core-plus portfolios.

"In a number of portfolios where we've made changes with respect to Pimco, we have higher confidence in carefully selected alternate managers over the longer term," Gerard Fitzpatrick, global chief investment officer of fixed income at Russell Investments, said in a statement on its website.

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Gross, who managed the Pimco Total Return Fund and co-founded the firm over 40 years ago, resigned on Sept. 26 to join rival Janus Capital Group. Investors pulled a massive $25.5 billion from Pacific Investment Management Co's U.S. open-end funds in September, according to Morningstar data.

"While we are appreciative of the solid returns Pimco has generated for our U.S. Fixed Income portfolios in the past 30 years, we believe the addition of Scout to the portfolio structure puts those portfolios in a stronger position to successfully manage the market ahead," said Fitzpatrick.

The Russell statement did not say how much Pimco managed for the Seattle-based firm, in what strategies, and how much the allocation was reduced. Steve Claiborne, a spokesman for the company, declined to comment beyond the statement.

The $795 million Fort Lauderdale Police & Fire Retirement System has approved a search for global tactical asset allocation, a portfolio that was run by Pimco, spokesman Fred Nesbitt said on Thursday.

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"The Pimco news on Bill Gross was a major change of management at the top, so the trustees decided to terminate Pimco," Nesbitt said.

The plan will search for GTAA managers to replace an allocation of about $37 million invested in Pimco's All-Asset Fund, Nesbitt added.