Bernanke, who helped steer the US economy through the 2008 financial crisis, will guide PIMCO’s investment process and periodically meet with clients.
“We look forward to benefitting from his extraordinary knowledge and expertise to help us add value for our clients,” Douglas Hodge, chief executive officer said.
“His unrivalled experience in navigating the global economy through the financial crisis will provide PIMCO’s investment professionals with unique insights as we help our clients amid a challenging and uncertain period for global markets in coming years."
Alan Greenspan, Bernanke’s predecessor until 2006, also served as an adviser to the firm between 2007 and 2011.
Bernanke has worked out another consulting agreement with hedge fund Citadel.
He is not the first senior Washington official who played a key role during the financial crisis to join the financial industry. Former US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who supervised government bailouts of large companies, joined private equity firm Warburg Pincus in 2013.
PIMCO has faltered since the firm’s founder Bill Gross, who managed the PIMCO Total Return Bond Fund, quit last September amid management differences to join Janus Capital.
Gross’ departure caused huge outflows from PIMCO’s funds.
Outflows from the flagship Pimco Total Return Fund have slowed to an average of $7bn-$8bn a month recently from $23.5bn in September, according to reports.
The firm’s Asia CEO Ana Dhoraisingam also left recently, joining PineBridge Investments.
A look at the one-year performance of the PIMCO Total Return Bond fund against its benchmark index: