'Bond King' Bill Gross quits Pimco for Janus

Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:50pm EDT
 
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By Paritosh Bansal and Jennifer Ablan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bill Gross, the bond market's most renowned investor, quit Pimco for distant rival Janus Capital Group Inc on Friday, the day before he was expected to be fired from the huge investment firm he co-founded more than 40 years ago.

Gross, 70, had been clashing with the firm's executive committee and had threatened to resign multiple times, a source familiar with the situation said. The committee had planned to accept his latest resignation from the post of chief investment officer on Saturday.

The surprise development, which rattled the U.S. bond market, came the day before Pimco and its parent, German insurer Allianz SE, planned to dismiss Gross, the source said.

Gross will manage the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund beginning on Monday, Janus said in a statement. The fund, started in May, has just $13 million in assets.

Dan Ivascyn, one of Pimco's deputy chief investment officers, was named late Friday as Group Chief Investment Officer to replace Gross, who according to Forbes has a net wealth of $2.3 billion.

In addition, Pimco promoted the existing deputy CIOs to Chief Investment Officer positions: Andrew Balls, CIO Global; Mark Kiesel, CIO Global Credit; Virginie Maisonneuve, CIO Equities; Scott Mather, CIO U.S. Core Strategies; and Mihir Worah, CIO Real Return and Asset Allocation.

Douglas Hodge, Pimco's Chief Executive Officer, and Lew "Jay" Jacobs, president, will continue to serve as the firm's senior executive leadership team, spearheading Pimco's business strategy, client service and the firm's operations.

"Pimco and Bill Gross are synonymous," said Todd Rosenbluth, director of mutual fund research at S&P Capital IQ. "It will be extremely hard to think of Pimco and Bill Gross as separate, and it will take time for investors to realize that he no longer is going to play a role at one of the world’s largest fixed income managers."   Continued...

 
Bill Gross, co-founder and co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), speaks at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago, Illinois, June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young