Pimco ETF Hits NYSE Trading Floor

Human/digital hybrid used in bond fund aims to trim volatility.

Reviewed by: Zoya Mirza
Edited by: Zoya Mirza

Pacific Investment Management Company, which manages $31 billion in exchange-traded funds, has gone back to the future with an ETF that trades on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. 

The PIMCO Active Bond ETF (BOND), which began trading last week on the NYSE, is the exchange’s first ETF in 15 years and the first actively managed exchange-traded fund ever to enter the open outcry arena. 

Floor trading on the NYSE—the original buying and selling method when the exchange opened in 1792—has largely been replaced by electronic trading over the past few decades. Pimco, with $1.69 trillion assets under management, is using a digital and human hybrid system, that it says will enhance liquidity, reduce volatility and trading costs, and improve price determination.  

“We are simply seeking to add human intervention to the mix,” Pimco spokeswoman Agnes Crane wrote in an email to ETF.com. “We are not limiting the application of technology and digital support to the fund.” 

The human presence, known as the designated market maker, boosts oversight for the ETF during the trading day, Crane added. 

Floor traders—synonymous with the shouting, stressed-out deal broker archetype—serve as asset managing custodians in this field, navigating and maintaining critical relationships between investors and equity issuers. 

Actively managed ETFs have witnessed a surge in growth this year due to investors opting for financial-advisor-curated portfolios, mainly due to market turbulence and looming economic uncertainty. According to ETF.com data, there are 983 actively managed ETFs currently being traded on U.S. markets. 

The $3 billion BOND previously listed on the NYSE’s fully electronic platform, Arca, since its inception in 2012. The fund comprised an actively managed portfolio that seeks to maintain current income and long-term capital appreciation. Citadel Securities’ Head of Designated Market-Maker Floor Trading Pete Giacchi serves as the DMM for BOND. 

BOND is the first ETF to list on the NYSE floor since 2007, following a series of rule changes approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in July that permit a wide range of ETFs to list on the stock exchange.  

According to a press release issued by the NYSE, the hybrid model of trading will help issuers reach global investors, especially with ETFs that are actively managed or invest in less actively traded securities.  

Newport Beach, California-based Pimco is considering introducing additional ETFs onto the trading floor going forward, Crane said. 


Contact Zoya Mirza at [email protected] 

Zoya Mirza is a markets reporter at etf.com. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Voice of America, and United Press International, among others. Mirza is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her past experiences include editorial work in book publishing and conducting political analysis for NGOs and think tanks. Mirza is a passionate bibliophile and collects vintage postcards from every bookstore she visits in a new city.