Pimco Hires Ex-Blackstone's Studzinski to Advise Top Clients

(Bloomberg) -- Pacific Investment Management Co. hired John Studzinski, the former Blackstone Group executive who made his reputation in London and on Wall Street as an investment banker, to a newly created role working with the firm’s largest investors.

Studzinski will be a managing director and vice chairman and will advise clients such as pension funds, governments and sovereign wealth funds, the asset manager said Wednesday in a statement from Newport Beach, California. He will be based in New York and report directly to the firm’s chief executive officer, Emmanuel Roman.

“I have known John personally and professionally for 20 years and have huge admiration for his enviable breadth of experience, expertise, integrity, wisdom and relationships,” Roman said in the statement. “He’s a true statesman in the world of global finance.”

Studzinski, an international dealmaker who became a fixture at Davos, a human-rights advocate and an adviser to the Vatican, said in an interview with Bloomberg last month that he’s ready for “some new challenges” after 12 years at the New York-based Blackstone, including the past three as vice chairman of investor relations and business development.

The 62-year-old executive, nicknamed “Studs,” initially worked at Morgan Stanley and later at HSBC Holdings Plc. At Blackstone, a younger cadre of managers led by new President Jonathan Gray is moving up, and many veterans like Tom Hill, who built Blackstone’s hedge fund group, are moving on. The business Studzinski was hired to run was spun off three years ago.

Pimco itself is evolving under new leadership, after Roman took the reins of the investment giant in 2016 following a period of turbulence triggered by the departure of money manager Bill Gross. The firm, which manages more than $1.7 trillion, has hired more than 500 employees over the last two years, and further plans to expand its ranks, the firm said earlier this year.

Widely known for managing bond funds, Pimco been expanding its alternative offerings since Roman joined, including hedge funds, distressed credit and private equity. With Studzinski, the firm gains someone who’s courted and built relationships with some of the wealthiest families and largest pools of sovereign capital around the world, especially in Asia and Europe. That’s a group of clients increasingly sought by giant money managers like Pimco for a variety of investments.

“I have long had enormous respect and admiration for Pimco’s investment acumen, steady client focus and the vital role it plays in the world’s economy,” Studzinski said in the statement.

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