Four years after he left the firm, PIMCO is hiring back Paul McCulley to save its brand and provide just enough ammo to defend its bullish/bearish positions now that El-Erian's disagreements have left. Unlike some firms who believe that 'chief economists' must be full-time - adding value each and every day with their extrapolations of every macro tick - McCulley will spend up to 100 days per year working in PIMCO offices. Bearing in mind McCulley's previous lazer-like focus on Capex (which is dismally flat still) and his belief in a "W" shaped recovery not a "U" or a "V", we suspect the bearded prognosticator will have a bullish bond bias - especially as the trillions of ticking time bombs in the shadow banking system remain as incendiary as ever.
McCulley's Global Macro Chessboard:
Full PIMCO Statement:
PIMCO, a leading global investment management firm, has hired Paul McCulley as a Managing Director and the firm's Chief Economist, a new role for the firm. Mr. McCulley will be a member of PIMCO's Investment Committee and will report to Bill Gross, Founder and Chief Investment Officer.
As Chief Economist, Mr. McCulley's responsibilities will include chairing the Investment Committee several times monthly to lead discussion on global macroeconomic issues and central bank policy, writing and publishing commentary, and speaking with PIMCO's clients around the world. He will not manage client portfolios or serve as a portfolio manager.
Said Mr. Gross: "Paul is an experienced and respected thought leader on macroeconomic issues and central banks and he will be an important contributor to our investment process. During his previous years at PIMCO, he played an instrumental role in anticipating and understanding economic dynamics that led to the global financial crisis. Our clients will benefit from Paul's tremendous knowledge as we identify and capitalize on opportunities in PIMCO's New Neutral."
Said Douglas Hodge, PIMCO's Chief Executive Officer: "Bill Gross is one of the most talented and successful investors of our time, and he has built PIMCO over the past 43 years by attracting world-class talent such as Paul to become part of our team. We are excited to have Paul join the firm in his new role and we appreciate Bill's personal leadership in recruiting Paul to the firm."
Over the past three years, Mr. McCulley, 57, has been chair of the Global Society of Fellows at the Global Interdependence Center, where he published two path-breaking papers on monetary and central bank policy. Both papers can be accessed here:
Mr. McCulley first joined PIMCO in 1990 as an account manager. He left two years later to become Chief Economist for the Americas for UBS. He returned to the firm in 1999 as a portfolio manager, and became the head of the firm's Short-Term desk and a member of the Investment Committee, and also led PIMCO's Cyclical Forum.
A prolific author of thought leadership, economic and market commentary, Mr. McCulley coined the term "Shadow Banking System" to refer to the collection of non-bank financial intermediaries that provide services similar to traditional commercial banks, and which played a role as catalysts for the global financial crisis. He also developed the concept of a "Minsky Moment," referring to a sudden major collapse of asset values as part of a credit or business cycle.
Said Mr. McCulley: "I look forward to working side by side with Bill as economic counselor and interacting with the Deputy CIOs. I anticipate writing frequent scholarly essays, as well maintaining a robust calendar of speaking engagements. PIMCO will always be Camelot to me."
Mr. McCulley will spend up to 100 days per year working in PIMCO offices around the world, and he will also continue to dedicate a portion of his time to activities outside of the firm, including leading the Morgan le Fay Dreams Foundation, as well as academic activities.
Bio of Mr. McCulley:
Prior to joining PIMCO in 1999, Mr. McCulley was Chief Economist for the Americas for UBS, and also Head of Fixed Income Strategy. While there, he was recognized for his work by being named to six seats on Institutional Investor Magazine's All America Fixed Income Research Team, in three different specialties. He wrote a widely read weekly research publication, Strategic Economic Perspectives, and visited with clients around the world, with extensive interaction with central banks in the emerging world, especially the Middle East and Asia, as well as Latin America.
Mr. McCulley received an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, where he was a member of the honor society Beta Gamma Sigma, with a triple concentration in finance, money and financial markets, and economics. He received his BA in economics, with honors, from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, where he is now a Trustee.
Since leaving at the end of 2010, Mr. McCulley has complemented his scholarly work with the Society of Fellows with extensive involvement in the activities of his personal charitable foundation, Morgan le Fay Dreams, which he founded and endowed in 2006. His foundation focuses on charities devoted to young adults and education, including serving as executive producer of acclaimed documentaries.
Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including the performance of financial markets, the investment performance of PIMCO's sponsored investment products and separately managed accounts, general economic conditions, future acquisitions, competitive conditions and government regulations, including changes in tax laws. Readers should carefully consider such factors. Further, such forward-looking statements speak only on the date at which such statements are made. PIMCO undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements.