Friday, April 18, 2014

PIMCO Employee, Accenture Client-Pasi Hamalainen Obituary





Pasi Hamalainen

Obituary

Pasi Hamalainen
Pasi M. Hamalainen, a gifted financial executive, devoted father and cultivator of many long-term friendships, died in his sleep on Jan. 16 at his home in Manhattan Beach, Calif. He was 46. Though he came from modest beginnings in Finland, Hamalainen earned an Ivy League education and parlayed it into a stellar career with Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO), one of the world's largest asset-management firms. He rose through the ranks to become a managing director and director of global risk oversight, helping the company amass $2 trillion in assets. All the while Hamalainen lived by two iron credos: once you were his friend you were "a friend for life"; and he insisted on "nothing but the best." He possessed an engineer's fascination with precision instruments, from watches to sound systems to airplanes to very fast cars. An audiophile with a keen ear, Hamalainen built an oceanfront house in Manhattan Beach and equipped it with a vacuum-tube stereo system that turned his home into an approximation of a concert hall. His constantly evolving car collection included BMW's, Aston Martins, Bentleys and a Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse. He loved to drive the snaking roads of the Los Angeles canyons, and with his Bugatti he set a staggering record of 230.6 miles per hour at the Sun Valley Road Rally last year. Though he enjoyed his toys, success for Hamalainen was not measured in money or possessions. He was generous with friends and family, and toward causes he regarded as worthy. He was also known for his unique sense of humor. He departed PIMCO in 2008 after 14 years with the company, and the next year his wife, Dr. Carey Cullinane, gave birth to their son, Logan Patrick. Retirement gave Hamalainen the freedom to travel the world. It also introduced him to the joys of fatherhood. "This last year Pasi was so happy," said his brother, Janne Hamalainen. "He was able to spend more time with his son, which was the most important thing by far to him. One of their favorite things to do together was play with toy planes - my brother was typically the air-traffic controller and Logan was the pilot - and they had a great bond." In 2012 Hamalainen joined the Capital Group, a Los Angeles-based investment management firm, as a fixed-income portfolio manager. He was also busy with a variety of philanthropic endeavors. He endowed a professorship at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and he joined the Advisory Board of the Jacobs Levy Center for Quantitative Financial Research at the university's Wharton School. He and his former wife, Dr. Cullinane, an oncologist, also endowed the Hamalainen Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Stanford University Medical Center. Pasi Matti Hamalainen was born in Helsinki on May 18, 1967, where his father was a sportswriter and his mother was an elementary school teacher. His mother, Raili, had competed twice with the Finnish national gymnastics team in the Olympics. The marriage ended in divorce in 1969 and Raili raised her two sons in the town of Tampere, where they briefly attended the Tampere University of Technology. Janne went on to study electrical engineering at the University of Tulsa, and Pasi, after a two-year stint as a pilot in the Finnish Air Force, won a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania. There he competed on the track team and completed a rigorous five-year program in just four years, earning dual bachelor's degrees in engineering and economics. He went directly into the Ph.D. program at the university's Wharton School, but left to join PIMCO in 1994 after earning a master's degree in finance. As a student at Penn, Hamalainen served as a research assistant for the professors Donald Keim and Ananth Madhavan, both of whom became life-long friends. Together they produced papers on such lofty topics as "The Upstairs Market for Large-Block Transactions: Analysis and Measurement of Price Effects." "Pasi was the guy who had the technical skills and the smarts to crack the data - load it, parse it, interpret it," says Madhavan, a native of India. "The guy was brilliant. But the thing that was important to him in his life were his friends. He was very close to the group at Wharton, and they remained friends. That's very Finnish." "He was very, very bright," adds Keim. "Very serious, very quiet, but always thinking things through. Everything he said was very measured, very precise. And once he became your friend, he was always a true friend." In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Pasi Hamalainen may be sent via the Pasi Hamalainen Memorial Fund. - http://pasihamalainenmemorialfund.mydagsite.com 
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