John Hague is credited with being the man who helped Bill Gross build PIMCO into the manager of the word’s largest mutual fund.
Now he’s recruiting PIMCO alumni for his new firm, which will “pursue more aggressive strategies as the bond rally fizzles,” according to Bloomberg.
He also basically said — we’re trying to figure out how to crush Gross.
Hague told Bloomberg:
People are trying to figure out the best configuration to work with each other to compete with Pimco and Wamco. We can run some money in the same style we did at Newport centre with the ability to be more aggressive.
Hague was Pimco for 18 years. When he joined in ’87, it had $4 billion AUM (now it has $1.3 trillion) and four portfolio managers.
During his time there he:
- Started the firm’s international fixed-income business
- Started the Global Relative Value hedge fund
- Managed 125 separate accounts with about $30 billion in assets
Also, as one “one of Pimco’s primary rainmakers, spent 500 hours a year flying to meet with potential and existing clients.”
Hague left in 2005 and is reportedly in talks with at least five ex-Pimconians, including John Brynjolfsson, William Powers, Lee Thomas and Paul McCulley, about creating his new, more highly-leveraged mini-Pimco.
Hague said of the new project,
The interesting areas of the market are credit, currencies and emerging markets. When it comes to Treasuries, I’m not interested.
He obviously has a fan in Powers, an Pimco PM, who told Bloomberg:
To be thinking about total return in a bond portfolio with rates at 3.5 per cent is yesterday’s news. Unless you are China and need to invest $2 trillion, you are likely to find much better outlets for your money than Treasuries and other high-quality bonds.
One option is for those colleagues to join Massif Partners, Hague’s new fixed income firm with former FrontPoint co-founder, Philip Duff.
But some of the people Hague wants, like Brynjolfsson, run their own funds, so they have to come with an idea that would allow those other committments to be maintained.