Published August 20, 2014
As if Bill Gross didn’t have enough problems, now the big money management firm he runs has been hit with a major infestation of bed bugs.
Stock traders who do business with Pacific Investment Management Co., better known as PIMCO, say hundreds of people have been evacuated from one of the outfit’s New York City buildings in recent days and have been relocated to an undisclosed upstate location after reports of widespread bed bug bites among executives and employees.
One stock trader at Goldman Sachs (GS) who deals regularly with the bond behemoth says while it’s “business as usual” when dealing with the company, employees are also “freaked out” that they may be harboring the blood-sucking insects on clothes and in bags … and could have brought the parasites back to their homes.
A PIMCO spokesperson confirmed the bond behemoth's Big Apple bug plight, saying, "our New York office is addressing an isolated issue with insects, and as a precautionary measure the firm is fumigating certain areas of the office space."
The official added, "During this period our employees are working remotely and we expect to resume full on-premises staffing over the coming days. This is an issue that is far from uncommon in New York City.”
According to the National Pest Management Association, bed bugs – a parasite that feasts on blood – continue to be a major problem for homes and offices across the country, particularly in cities like New York. Professional bed bug exterminators devote nearly 40% of all their work eradicating the insect from offices. But compounding the problem, many professionals transport the bed bugs from the infested office or hotel rooms during business trips to their homes.
“Bed bugs continue to be problematic across all 50 states,” said Missy Henriksen, the association’s executive director. “We frequently hear about issues in New York due to population density.”
To be sure, PIMCO isn’t the only major company to be hit with the bed bug problem; three years ago, Bloomberg LP., the big information-services company, had a significant outbreak in its New York City headquarters, forcing the company to bring in insect-sniffing dogs and steam clean its offices, according to people close to matter. A Bloomberg spokesman declined to comment.
Fox News also had an infestation of bed bugs in its New York City offices in 2011.
Meanwhile, the performance of PIMCO’s mutual funds have been rebounding in recent months after a difficult period—one that had many people questioning Gross’s leadership of the company. The performance of the funds run by Gross himself—known as the “bond king” for his expertise in bonds—have still under performed, but he recently received a major vote of confidence from PIMCO’s parent company, Allianz, the big German insurer.
It’s unclear if news of the New York bed bug infestation has reached PIMCO’s corporate headquarters on the opposite side of the country.