Retail investors can now access the Allianz Pimco UK Corporate Bond fund following the creation of a new share class on May 19.The 34m portfolio, managed by Peter Bentley, was launched to institutional investors in August 2002 and sits in the IMA UK Corporate Bond sector. Allianz Global Investors head of retail Nick Smith says: “We wanted to offer retail investors access to a fund in the mainstream UK Corporate Bond sector. Rather than launching a new fund, given the institutional portfolio’s track record, it made more sense to launch a retail share class of the existing fund.” Smith adds that retail investors can now access three Pimco funds in the UK Gilt, corporate bond and UK Other Bond sectors. In conjunction with launching the new share class, Pimco has also changed the benchmark of the fund to the Merrill Lynch Non-Gilt Sterling index from its previous Barclays Capital Sterling index. Smith says: “The Merrill Lynch index is a more mainstream benchmark. The key difference is that the previous index has a longer maturity.” Top 10 holdings at March 31 were in debt issued by Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup and HBOS, making up 11.4% of the portfolio. The annual management charge for the new retail share class of the fund is 1%, 60 basis points higher than institutional fees. For investments into an Isa wrapper, the initial expense is 3% with a minimum investment amount of 1,000. For non-Isa investors, the initial charge is 4% with a 500 minimum.