(Pictured: Doug Hodge)
Doug Hodge, a 24-year PIMCO veteran who has spent a lot of time in Australia and the Asia Pacific region, has become the new chief executive of the world’s largest bond manager. He has already participated in video links with other PIMCO executives around the world, including Australia, following the shock resignation last week of Mohamed El-Erian.
Most recently the US$1.8 trillion manager’s Newport-based chief operating officer, Hodge headed Asia Pacific from 2002-2009, mostly from Tokyo, into which the Australian office used to report.
His appointment, announced last Tuesday at the same time as El-Erian’s departure, may well speed up the process of confirming a new country head for Australia. Senior portfolio manager, Rob Mead, has been acting country head for several months since John Wilson, who founded PIMCO’s Australian presence, retired last year. Hodge flew to Australia when Wilson’s departure was announced to ensure stability in the office.
El-Erian is a prominent spokesperson on economic matters and has been an unofficial advisor to the US Government on monetary policy issues. He is an author and, previously, the chief executive of the Harvard Endowment Fund. This is actually the second time he has resigned from PIMCO, having worked at the firm prior to the Harvard role.
In late 2012, President Obama named El-Erian as chairman of the President’s Global Development Council, which advises on issues such as sustainable economic growth and opportunities for partnership between the public and private sectors.
Notwithstanding lengthy reports in the mainstream financial press around the world following last week’s news, it remains unknown as to what El-Erian plans to do next. Most speculate that he may be in line for a government position. He will be retaining, however, his committee roles at Allianz, PIMCO’s parent company.
El-Erian was also co-chief investment officer at PIMCO, alongside founder Bill Gross, who is 69. Two portfolio managers are to be promoted to deputy CIOs under Gross.
Hodge already serves on PIMCO’s executive committee and on the global executive committee for Allianz. He joined the firm in 1989 and has previously served as a senior account manager responsible for client relationships worldwide and as a global product manager, as well as APAC head.