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PIMCO Exec Steps Down Amid Harassment Reports

Bill De Leon’s resignation as head of portfolio risk management followed allegations of inappropriate behavior toward a lower-ranking colleague.

  • By Alicia McElhaney

Bill De Leon, head of portfolio risk management at Pacific Investment Management Co., has left the firm amid allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward another PIMCO employee. 

The Wall Street Journal  reported Sunday that De Leon had stepped down following an internal investigation by the firm regarding De Leon’s behavior at a May 2017 charity event in New York. At the event, De Leon is alleged to have inappropriately touched a lower-ranking colleague. A PIMCO spokesperson confirmed that De Leon resigned on Friday as head of portfolio risk management, but declined to comment on the harassment allegations.

De Leon did not respond to a LinkedIn message seeking comment.

In an internal memo – a portion of which was viewed by Institutional Investor – the firm announced that managing director and portfolio manager Sudi Mariappa would become the new global head of portfolio risk management.

The issue of work-related sexual misconduct became a hot-button topic last year after a number of high-profile men working in entertainment and media were accused of misbehavior, causing companies across industries to grapple with the problem of sexual harassment in workplace. While the asset management industry has not yet faced a reckoning on par with Hollywood, a few women have sued their companies, including Point72 and TCW, for sexual harassment. Biotech hedge fund firm OrbiMed also faced allegations of sexual harassment by five former employees against its founder, who has now retired.

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De Leon had worked for PIMCO since 2007, according to the firm’s website. His previous positions included portfolio manager and interim head of analytics. Before joining PIMCO, De Leon worked at hedge funds Ellington Management Group and Caxton. He also spent time at BlackRock as a managing director and a senior member of its strategy group. 

His replacement, Mariappa, has worked at PIMCO for 14 years on and off in various roles. According to the internal memo, Mariappa has led global teams overseeing about $80 billion and was “a key advisor to PIMCO on portfolio and risk management processes during the tumultuous 2009-10 period following the global financial crisis.”

Prior to rejoining PIMCO in 2014, Mariappa worked as a managing director at London hedge fund GLG, where he helped to manage and build fixed income funds.

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