(Pictured: Bill Gross)
When a 70-year-old portfolio manager can cause such a stir you know he was someone special. Bill Gross, the Warren Buffett of bonds, will, incredibly, join rival firm Janus Capital today, US time. Janus has opened a Newport Beach “office” just for Gross, who famously dislikes travel.
Gross’s departure was announced last Friday, Australian time, and that was when Allianz, PIMCO’s parent, first heard the news, according to a report over the weekend by the Financial Times (FT). PIMCO announced its succession team, under new CIO Daniel Ivascyn, 10 hours later, the FT reported.
In a statement, Gross said he was leaving PIMCO and his role “with a mixture of excitement and sadness” to live a “simpler” life. “I have been fortunate to have had a great run at PIMCO, and I am looking forward to be able to continue this run with Janus,” he said.
Shares in Janus, a star of the dotcom boom and victim of the ensuing crash, rose 43 per cent on the hope that investors’ money would follow Gross, the FT reported.
Morningstar said it was placing all PIMCO funds under review, and shares in Allianz fell 6.2 per cent.
Gross was the co-founder of PIMCO (then Pacific Investment Management) in 1971. He launched the PIMCO total return fund, a first for bonds in mainstream investments, in 1987 to instant success thanks to the flight from shares after the 1987 crash.
Like all managers, PIMCO had its ups and downs but has subsequently grown to the world’s largest fixed interest manager, and one of the largest managers of any asset class, with US$1.97 trillion under management as of June this year. Janus, which is based in Denver, by comparison, has about US$180 billion under management.
Janus is not wasting time with its star recruit. A spokesman said that Gross would launch a new global macro fixed income division next week, on October 6. He will take over responsibility for the Janus global unconstrained bond fund and join the firm’s asset allocation committee.
At PIMCO, the chief executive, Doug Hodge, a former head of Asia Pacific for the firm who followed Mohamed El-Erian into the top job earlier this year, said: “Over the course of this year it became increasingly clear that the firm’s leadership and Bill have fundamental differences about how to take PIMCO forward.”
Andrew Balls, Mark Kiesel, Virginie Maisonneuve, Scott Mather and Mihir Worah were promoted to co-chief investment officers, PIMCO said, reporting to Ivascyn.