PIMCO hires Bernanke, Jean Claude-Trichet to advisory board

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NEW YORK (AP) — Fund giant PIMCO has named former heads of two of the world's biggest central banks to its advisory board, tapping Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet.

Bernanke, who already served as a senior adviser to PIMCO, will lead the board, the firm said. The other members of the board will include former U.K. Prime Minster Gordon Brown, Ng Kok Song, who led one of Singapore's sovereign wealth funds, and Princeton professor Anne-Marie Slaughter.

PIMCO has a history of hiring former Fed officials after they've left public office. The firm hired Alan Greenspan, the Fed chairman before Bernanke, in 2007 to provide economic advice.

PIMCO's global advisory board will meet several times a year, the firm said, and its members will provide expertise and insight to help the firm invest appropriately.

Bernanke served two terms as chairman of the Fed, from 2006 through 2014, spending most of his term dealing with the 2008 financial crisis and its economic aftermath.

Under Bernanke, the Fed cut interest rates to zero to help bring the U.S. economy out of recession. When zero interest rates were not enough to spur economic growth, the Fed, for the first time, implemented several massive bond-buying programs to push interest rates down even further.

The Fed's programs under Bernanke were considered a success, and the Federal Reserve is currently poised to raise interest rates as soon as this month, under current Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

Trichet was president of the ECB from 2003 to 2011. Trichet's tenure was largely dominated by the financial crisis as well as Europe's sovereign debt crisis that followed.

PIMCO runs the largest actively-managed bond mutual fund.

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