How's LA? (Cap. Group/PIMCO)

I've got a recruiter that's looking to poach me, but it involves moving across the country. From his email, I'm reasonably certain that it's either Capital Group (American Funds) or PIMCO. Does anybody have any experience with them? It'd likely be an upper mid-level position in the main office.  COL isn't going to be an issue, since I'm already in NYC.

Comments (6)

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  • VP in S&T - FI
Dec 11, 2020 - 1:08am

Both great places to work, here is my 2c.  I have been in LA for 10 years and have lived up and down the LA beach cities have never lived in OC but know plenty of people there.  Both are great places to work, know people who have done very well at both but very different.    

1. Capital Group- I would check with the recruiter if you are going to be in the west LA or downtown office they have a lot of people at both locations.  Your experience in LA will vary a lot depending on where you end up living.  Since you are from NYC you are most likely going to want to live in Santa Monica (that is were all the NYC transplants end up living) so the west LA office your commute is not that bad, but if you are going downtown you are going to be spending a lot of time in the car coming from Santa Monica.  DTLA has gotten a lot better over the last 10 years but I would not want to live downtown.  If you are working market hours the commute becomes more manageable.  In terms actual work experience, people do not leave capital group, which means people love working there but it is very hard to move up.  They really expect you to put the time in and master your job become getting promoted.  Also a lot of the comp is in company stock, so you get handcuffed a little bit there.  Relative to PIMCO the culture is much less cutthroat and the business they run is much more diversified.

2. PIMCO- You are going to be in Orange County, which is very much not LA.  The OC beach cities have a similar vibe to West LA but its a bit more suburban and plastic (bleach blonde and fake tits) there are plenty of transplants in the OC but its not like LA in the sense that you will go weeks without meeting anyone from LA.  I have found the people in OC to be much more friendly.  There is a network of LA asset management (Payden, TCW, Doubleline, WACMO, etc) that does not exist in OC with their being less jobs (Pac life is pretty much the other major asset manager in OC).  If you are working at PIMCO and not married you live in Newport Beach which is awesome but it lacks some of the urban vibe that you would be getting in LA or at least be able to access pretty easily.  If you have a family finding a decent house with some space not too far from work is much more doable in the OC than in LA (Currently going through this now with my wife and young kid in LA and its a nightmare).  In terms of work experience, working at PIMCO can be a grind they demand a lot but if you produce you will get move up quickly if not they won't fire you but they will run you through this corporate bureaucratic wringer with all these BS "promotions" and nominal raises to frustrate you into leaving.  PIMCO is very much run by PMs and traders so if you are on the business side you might not feel the love and a lot of people I know who ended up burning out on PIMCO were on the business side.  The culture is supposed be changing a bit with Gross gone but I think some of the people from that era are still in senior positions so its not like its totally gone.  PIMCO has historically been a fixed income manager but they are leveraging that to get into Credit/RE type ALTS and they have some ETFs.       

Dec 11, 2020 - 10:18am

Thanks.  The recruiter is doing the standard 'play coy about his client,' and I don't think he realizes just how much info he actually gave me.  I'm reasonably certain it's one of those two, and am leaning towards it being cap group.  The hint being that they managed $2T+ along with a couple other phrases. It would be a new product line at Cap, and a small but growing rapidly one at Pimco.  As far as I can tell from an opening 'interested?' Linkedin message I'd continue to be 'investment adjacent,' essentially plugging the PMs into the rest of the company and vendors. (maybe some client sales too)  I'm not desperate to move, but hey when they knock on your virtual door and say 'we want to offer you a job' you at least want to listen to the offer.

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
Dec 16, 2020 - 9:08pm

Update: "Funding Secured" (well an interview anyway) How would you play the ask? I've got a rare skillset and may be 'overqualified' for the position in that I can do a handful of jobs that they'd normally need to spend significant time training somebody to do.  There is also a high likelihood that they don't have anybody to do half of the jobs that I'm an expert at as well, and I also have experience in this relatively unique situation.  I feel wasted in my current role, but I'm not hurting financially or in the number of hours per week I work most of the time. (there is the rare 80 hour week, and I am 'on call' 24/7)  I don't want to leave money on the table, particularly if they gave the recruiter I'm talking to a range, but I feel like I'm on the low end of the pay-scale for a high COL area. 

Given this I'm not going to lateral for no raise, since my family is here.  I do feel like this job could have more upside potential though.

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
Dec 28, 2020 - 7:10pm
I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
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