The hits keep on coming at PIMCO.
PIMCO disclosed on Monday that it has received a “Wells Notice” from the SEC related to its Total Return exchange-traded fund, an actively-traded ETF which seeks to track its flagship Total Return Bond Fund.
A “Wells Notice,” as PIMCO notes in its statement, is neither an allegation of wrongdoing nor a finding that any law was violated. It is a notice, however, which indicates that the SEC’s staff will likely recommend the agency bring some action against a firm.
Back in September 2014, reports indicated that the SEC was looking into the Total Return ETF just a few days before the sudden departure of PIMCO founder Bill Gross. Gross was one of the managers of the Total Return fund.
That report indicated that the SEC was focused on issues related to how PIMCO valued certain bonds in the fund.
Monday’s statement said the SEC’s focus, “principally pertains to the valuation of smaller sized positions in non-agency mortgage-backed securities.”
PIMCO added that it will, “continue to engage with the SEC and we are confident that this matter will not affect our ability to serve our clients.”
This news also comes on the heels of seemingly unrelenting outflows from the Total Return Fund — which, again this ETF seeks to track — which in June saw money leave the fund for the 26th straight month.
In April 2013, Bloomberg notes, assets under management in the Total Return Fund hit $US293 billion; as of June 2015, assets in the Total Return fund amounted to $US102.8 billion.