Western Assets

I have a friend that recently interviewed with them. This buy side firm is pretty big in fixed income. Do you know something about the firm? Culture, career potential etc.

Western Asset (aka WAMCO) is one of the big three in fixed income shops, the other two being PIMCO and Blackrock. In their U.S. core and core plus products they are known for big credit bets. For the three to five years prior to 2007, this strategy had been paying off big time as spreads continued to tighten. However, since last summer they’ve been getting killed, basically blowing up and ending the year about 400 basis points below the Lehman Agg. As an investor I’d think twice before giving them my money, especially in this market environment, because I question their ability to outperform during a bearish credit cycle. As for your friend, I’d be a little skeptical about joining company that is probably going to playing defense for the foreseeable future while they try to explain their recent underperformance and retain assets.

what position?

Western Asset is part of Legg Mason now.