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Bond giant Pimco hires former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke

Former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ben Bernanke will serve as a senior advisor at the world's largest bond fund - Pimco

US bond giant Pimco has hired former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke as a senior advisor, the company said.

The move follows the departure of its well-known co-founder Bill Gross in September, who had run the world's largest bond fund for Pimco since 1987.

More than $123bn (£80bn) has been withdrawn from Pimco's funds since Mr Gross left, according to Reuters.

Mr. Bernanke was the chairman of the US central bank during the global financial crisis that began in 2008.

He served as the chair from February 2006 to February 2014.

Bernanke's new role

The investment firm said Mr Bernanke would contribute his economic expertise to the firm and periodically engage with its clients.

"His unrivalled experience in navigating the global economy through the financial crisis will provide Pimco's investment professionals with unique insights as we help our clients amidst a challenging and uncertain period for global markets in coming years," said chief executive Douglas Hodge in a statement on Wednesday.

Last week, Mr Bernanke, 61, also announced that he would consult for hedge fund Citadel and would continue to work full-time at think-tank Brookings Institution.

His new role with Pimco, which oversees nearly $1.6tn in assets, does not come without controversy.

During Mr Bernanke's tenure as Fed chief, the central bank had been criticised for being too close to Pimco, suggesting it may have given the Californian firm an advantage in understanding monetary policy.

But, Mr Bernanke dismissed the claims and told Reuters that "the Fed does not regulate Pimco" or Citadel, maintaining "there is no contact".

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