Gordon Brown to advise world’s largest bond manager Pimco

Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been appointed to a new advisory board at Pimco, the world’s largest bond manager, reports The Telegraph.

The company, which has endured a turbulent couple of years after its founder and star investor left in acrimonious circumstances, has created a five-member board to advise on “global economic, political, and strategic developments and their relevance for financial markets”.

It will be Mr Brown’s first major corporate role since leaving Downing Street five years ago.

He will be joined at Pimco by Ben Bernanke, former Federal Reserve chairman; Jean-Claude Trichet, former European Central Bank president; Ng Kok Song, former chief investment officer of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation; and Anne-Marie Slaughter, head of New America.

Mr Bernanke will serve as chairman of the board, which will meet several times a year at Pimco’s headquarters in Newport Beach, California, as well as in its offices across the world.

In taking the role, Mr Brown will be retaining at least one Labour connection. Andrew Balls, the brother of former shadow chancellor Ed, is Pimco’s chief investment officer for Global Fixed Income.

Mr Brown, 64, served as UK Chancellor from 1997 to 2007 before becoming Prime Minister until 2010.

“The Global Advisory Board is an unrivalled team of macroeconomic thinkers and former policymakers, whose insights into the intersection of policy and financial markets will be a valuable input to our investment process,” said Dan Ivascyn, Pimco’s Group Chief Investment Officer.

Douglas Hodge, chief executive, added: “Sharing insights on how global macroeconomic and geopolitical policy affects markets and investments is an important part of the value we bring to investors as stewards of their assets, so our clients will benefit greatly from the experience and insight the Global Advisory Board will provide to us.”

Pimco will be hoping that the new team can entice investors back to the firm. Assets under management have fallen from $2 trillion at their peak to around $1.5 trillion following the departure of founder Bill Gross last year.

The so-called “Bond King” is suing Pimco, claiming he is owed “hundreds of millions” for wrongful termination, breach of written contract and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, according to a court filing.

He claimed he was forced out so that younger executives at Pimco could share larger profits and transform the company into an asset manager that invested in higher-risk equities and property.

Mr Gross joined smaller rival Janus Capital Group, whose Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund oversees around $1.4bn in assets.

A Pimco spokesman has previously claimed the lawsuit “has no merit”.