Pacific Investment Management Co., the envy of the bond world when it tripled assets following the financial crisis, is finding itself in an unusual role: Playing catch up to competitors in the growing market for exchange- traded funds.

As ETFs receive an increasing share of money going into bond funds, Pimco is adding strategies, with 19 new funds announced in January. Cushioned until a year ago by deposits into mutual funds such as Bill Gross’s Pimco Total Return, the world’s largest bond fund, the firm didn’t enter the ETF market until 2009 and has stayed away from broad passive funds, which are dominated by established ETF providers such as BlackRock Inc.

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