- PIMCO's new global digital unit will provide resources such as research, tools and analysis to clients of the $ 1.9 trillion wealth manager. This emerges from an internal memo from Business Insider.
- Ainslie Simmonds, a former fintech executive who also worked for the beer conglomerate Coors Molson and Campbell Soup, will lead the group.
- The new entity will compete with BlackRock's Aladdin, which has become a go-to resource for financial advisors and institutions thanks to its risk management tools.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
PIMCO, the $ 1.9 trillion asset manager known for its fixed income capabilities, is creating a new entity that will focus on putting the company's research, tools, and analysis in the hands of its clients such as retirement funds and asset managers. This came out from an internally distributed memo last week and reviewed by Business Insider.
Ainslie Simmonds, Head of the US Digital Client, will lead the new unit, known as the global digital team. Simmonds is a longtime financial technology manager who also served as the director of marketing for beer conglomerate Coors Molson and food and snack giant Campbell Soup.
Simmonds is also a former fintech executive who helped build LearnVest and thinkorswim, which were sold to financial services companies Northwestern Mutual and TD Ameritrade. She has been with PIMCO since 2018.
In the memo from PIMCO's Marketing Director Cathy Stahl and Technology Director Dirk Manelski, the new team will build on the company's current practices, providing customers with market and investment research with analysis and tools such as: Portfolio stress tests and risk management analysis. According to a spokesman, the impetus for the new group was global customer demand for high-quality digital experiences.
"With the power of proven PIMCO Investment Intelligence, PIMCO customers can get the right results for investors," write Stahl and Manelski.
What is not stated, but implied in the memo, is the presence of a standard bearer for this type of platform in the money management industry: BlackRock & # 39; s Aladdin platform that analyzes investment portfolios with an emphasis on risk management and is widely used by financial advisors and institutions.
According to Larry Fink, founder and CEO of BlackRock, Aladdin has high ambitions. The world's largest wealth manager hopes its platform will become the "language of portfolios" by 2025. Last quarter, the New York-based asset manager generated $ 278 million in technology in services-related revenue, up from $ 237 million a year ago, which the company said was primarily due to higher revenue generated by Aladdin.
Continue reading: Larry Fink, CEO of the world's largest wealth manager, says BlackRock's massive Aladdin platform is really just a tech startup
There are other technology oriented risk management tools out there. Financial advisors and other asset managers use software provider Riskalyze, and massive quant hedge fund Two Sigma is selling its risk management program known as Venn to asset managers. State Street's Charles River Arm partnered with Axioma last year to provide risk analysis to Charles River's clients.
PIMCO, owned by Allianz and headquartered in Newport Beach, California, launches the group as traditional asset managers focus on improving their technology skills.
The industry has changed slowly in the past and is facing an onslaught of new money management startups and competitors in the market.
A survey of asset management executives released last week found that most believe that technology will play a critical role in shaping the future of the industry. However, a proportion of respondents said they were satisfied with their companies' approaches to updating and integrating new technologies.
Two-thirds of 201 executives surveyed said more resources should be dedicated to technology, according to the report from financial data and software company FactSet.
Continue reading: Top managers in the asset management sector are preparing for major technical modifications. This is how they think about budgets, hires, and high priority projects.
A spokesperson said PIMCO's new team, which is live, is not charging any fees for the products it will be offering to its clients, such as investment analysis tools for reviewing entire portfolios. BlackRock charges companies for its Aladdin services.
The company expects the team to grow to 25 to 30 employees by the end of the year and "will grow with the further development of new applications". The spokesman declined to reveal the current size of the group, but added that the company would be seeking talent in the financial technology field.
"The company is keen to find talented and experienced digital product management and UX design professionals, particularly in the fintech space," she said.
When asked about parallels with Aladdin, the spokesman said: "Our customers value our analysis very much and wanted to have access to our platform because of our expertise in fixed income securities."
The team reports to the Marketing and Technology departments. The company is also establishing an advisory group focused on customer-centric digital strategies, staffed by high-level PIMCO executives around the world, including Stahl, Manelski and Greg Hall, heads of US global wealth management and private strategies.
"These actions reflect both the strategic commitment PIMCO has made in this important area and recognition of the unique talent, resources and extensive global capabilities in various roles – technology, marketing, analytics and gold standard customer service – that PIMCO can deliver Offering customers, "wrote Stahl and Manelski.
Read the full memo below.
We want to keep you updated on an exciting and innovative change we're making to improve our digital skills. We're forming a new Global Digital team dedicated to growing and advancing digital experiences across the company. The new team will use PIMCO's proprietary analytics to develop world-class digital tools that give account managers and our customers world-class resources to optimize their investments.
Clients are becoming increasingly demanding and strict about the consumption and analysis of investment strategies and their expectations of digital experiences with investment management partners. PIMCO prides itself on providing intelligent, insightful, and results-oriented investment and market commentary to its clients. We now want to expand this know-how with the tools and analysis that investors need to make important decisions and allocations. With the power of proven PIMCO Investment Intelligence, PIMCO clients can get the right results for investors.
Our Global Digital team is led by Ainslie Simmonds, Executive Vice President and currently Head of the US Digital Client. Ainslie and his team will expand their remit to support our global businesses now with the guiding principle of working company-wide together to deliver innovative digital products for a wider range of roles at PIMCO and our customers. This is always based on our "customer first" mantra.
Global Digital will act as an independent business function and report to both of us together, as the provision of real-time tools and analysis is at the expense of marketing and technology. In addition, we have set up a global advisory group that outlines a common customer-oriented digital strategy. The managing directors of this group are Craig Dawson, Head of EMEA, Kim Stafford, Head of APAC, Greg Hall, Head of US GWM and Private Strategies, Candice Stack, Head of Client Management, America, Cathy Stahl, Global Head of Marketing and Dirk Manelski, Chief Technology Officer . These actions reflect both the strategic commitment that PIMCO is making in this important area and recognition of the unique talents, resources and extensive global capabilities in various roles – technology, marketing, analytics and gold standard customer service – that PIMCO offers its customers can.
Ainslie brings deep experience to this role. In just two years since joining PIMCO, Ainslie has been instrumental in delivering a vastly improved digital experience to our account managers and customers in the United States. She has worked company-wide, including with our extensive pool of digital talent in marketing and technology, and our analytics talent on the Client Solutions and Analytics team, to build and bring to market award-winning digital enhancements like PIMCO Pro – our portfolio analysis and stress tests – tool and ours Briefly released PIMCO Retirement, an innovative planning tool to optimize decumulation strategies using the company's unique expertise in the areas of pensions and defined contribution benefits.
Prior to joining PIMCO, Ainslie helped build two fintech startups – thinkorswim, a high frequency options trading broker sold to TD Ameritrade, and LearnVest, a digital financial advisory platform that was sold to Northwestern Mutual. She previously worked in consumer goods companies such as Coors / Molson and Campbell Soup Company. Ainslie holds an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.
Please join us in congratulating Ainslie on this incredibly important new role and wish her and the team the best of luck in their expanded digital mission.
Cathy and Dirk