Emmanuel Roman, chief executive officer of PIMCO, tinted a beige color with the background tinted blue.
Emmanuel Roman, chief executive officer of PIMCOAnthony Devlin – PA Images/Contributor/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider

Pimco, the $2.2 trillion bond giant headquartered in Newport Beach, California, has faced a run of lawsuits and bad press over the past few years — and clients are starting to ask questions.

In February, the pension consultant NEPC, which advises several Pimco clients, gathered some of its most senior executives for a conference call with the asset manager. The NEPC executives wanted to address the growing laundry list of lawsuits and negative headlines hanging over Pimco. 

The month before, 21 women had sent a sharply worded letter to the company's executive management team, denouncing how it treats the women and people of color who work there.  

The letter, from current and former Pimco employees, followed a November 2020 lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by two female employees who accused the firm of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and alleged that Pimco had a "fraternity culture." In February, three more women joined the lawsuit. 

In 2019, a former senior in-house lawyer had filed a lawsuit alleging gender, racial, and disability discrimination, while the year before, the head of the firm's defined-contribution practice sued the firm for alleged gender- and age-based discrimination, a suit that was settled. (The firm has denied the allegations in the ongoing lawsuits and has vowed to fight them in court.) 

In 2018, the head of portfolio-management risk resigned after an internal investigation into allegations that he inappropriately touched a lower-ranking Pimco employee at a charity event, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Insider conducted more than 30 interviews and reviewed hundreds of pages of company and investor disclosures to try to address the same question NEPC asked in that February meeting: why Pimco is so often in the news for the wrong reasons. 

SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL STORY HERE: Pimco boss Manny Roman was supposed to usher in a new era at the $2.2 trillion bond giant. But discrimination claims and bad press hang over the firm, and some clients are starting to lose patience.



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