Morningstar data show the Total Return Fund posted results of 1.63% compared with Barclays Aggregate bond index of 2.012% for the period between Sept. 27, 2014, and Sept. 15, 2015. Despite underperforming the index, the fund was in the 30th percentile, beating 70% of its 293 competitors in the intermediate bond category, the data show.
That's still an improvement over the final months under Mr. Gross' direction. Between May 1, 2013, the month when the Total Return Fund began to retreat from its peak, until Sept. 25, 2014, the fund returned -0.32% compared with the benchmark's 0.75%.
Morningstar data put the PIMCO Total Return Fund in the 87th percentile, beating only 13% of competing funds during that period.
Mr. Gross declined a request for an interview.
Mr. Porter of DiMeo Schneider said his firm wants to ensure that PIMCO is headed in the right direction and key personnel stay in place. “Layoffs are certainly something we're concerned about. When you build the infrastructure for a $2 trillion organization and you lose assets, you wonder how it will affect the organization.”
Allianz Chief Financial Officer Dieter Wemmer said in a conference call with analysts on Aug. 8 that Allianz has no plans to shrink PIMCO, despite declining operating profit from its U.S. affiliate.
Between Jan. 1 and June 30, PIMCO reported an e823 million operating profit, down 29% from the first six months of 2014 because of large net outflows.
Mr. Gross had been a key face of the firm he co-founded for four decades and for much of that time PIMCO grew its asset based on top-tier performance, led by the Total Return Fund.
But arguments between Mr. Gross and key lieutenants over sagging investment performance in the Total Return Fund accelerated in his final year. Those arguments led to the resignation of PIMCO co-CIO and CEO Mohamed El-Erian in January 2014 and a plan by PIMCO management to fire Mr. Gross. Mr. Gross resigned days before he was to be terminated.
Wemmer said during the conference call that Allianz plans to keep PIMCO's management team in place and said “portfolio performance and customer service come first, and then the other things come second.”
In a statement provided to Pensions & Investments, Jay Ralph, a board member of Allianz SE, Asset Management, U.S. Life Insurance, said: “We believe in the company and its management. We should see continuous and further improvement in the coming quarters. The leadership team has done a great job managing client communications and flows — which by the way are in line with markets. Investment results are excellent, the company invested into service and marketing.”
Additionally, in the last few months, PIMCO has brought on former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as an economic consultant and rehired several portfolio managers who left after Mr. El-Erian's departure.