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Mis-Communicator of the Week: Pimco

New appointments to senior positions in business, sport, the media and politics often send a signal about the future direction of that organisation.

One of the most famous examples is the signal sent to every ship in the British Fleet exclaiming "Winston is Back" announcing the return of Winston Churchill to head the Admiralty at the start of the Second World War. In business Steve Jobs returning to Apple might be a similar example. In sport, particularly football, the announcement of a new manager can have a positive impact on morale and also results.

This week a global investment company headquartered in California, Pimco, has made headline news around the world for announcing a new advisory panel. Pimco manage investments and, historically, have been good at it with $1.5 trillion under management.

Anyone investing with Pimco will want to be assured their money is safe or, at least, risks are carefully weighed up and minimised. So investors may have glanced at least twice at the names of three of this new advisory panel as they each held senior positions at the time of the global financial crash in the late 2000s and have been blamed for not foreseeing the crisis, not reacting in the right way or both.

Gordon Brown had been UK chancellor over seeing financial regulation and, at the time of the crash in 2007-2008, was UK Prime Minister. Ben Bernake was chairman of the US Federal Reserve and Jean-Claude Trichet held the same position for the European Central Bank.

What signal the hiring of these three men to Pimco's advisory panel sends to investors will become clear with Pimco's results. Looking back in time to an era of failure seems a rather strange thing for any organisation to do particularly one which makes its reputation on how it manages risk. That's why Pimco is my Mis-Communicator of the Week.

Mis-Communicator of the Week is written by Ed Staite.

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