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Monday, February 4, 2019

Gross Retires

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Bill Gross is retiring in less than a month.

The world's most famous bond fund PM is leaving Janus Henderson Investors [profile] on March 1, CEO Dick Weil confirms this morning. Gross, now 74, joined Janus in September 2014 in a high-profile jump from Pimco, the fixed income giant he co-founded nearly 50 years ago. According to the Janus Henderson team, Gross, a billionaire, will "focus on managing his personal assets and private charitable foundation."

On February 15, Nick Maroutsos, Janus Henderson's co-head of global bonds, will take over from Gross as PM of the firm's Global Unconstrained Bond funds, and the funds will be renamed the Absolute Return Income Opportunities funds (though their strategies won't change). The succession follows Janus' 2015 purchase of Sydney, Australia-based Kapstream, co-founded by Maroutsos.

Gross runs the William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation, which has $390 million in assets and donated more than $21 million last year alone.

"I'm off — leaving this port for another destination with high hopes, sunny skies, and smooth seas!" Gross states. "I look forward to continuing to work with my son Jeff and daughter Jennifer in identifying and supporting worthy and important causes that are creating better lives locally around the world."

Newport Beach, California-based Gross co-founded Pimco as part of Pacific Life in 1971. Over the following decades it grew into an institutional fixed income asset management giant, and later a fixed income mutual fund giant, too. He stayed on for 15 years after Allianz bought Pimco in 1999, becoming widely known as the "bond king" and seeing his Pimco Total Return fund grow to be the biggest mutual fund in the world. Yet by 2014 the worm had turned, performance soured, and Gross left Pimco for Janus amid widespread reports of internal Pimco disputes followed by a public (and now ended) legal battle. Since then he has taken on a lower key role as a PM at Janus, staying on as it merged with Henderson in 2017 and amid his own high-profile divorce. At Janus, Gross has shied away from management duties while continuing to focus on his speciality: unconstrained, absolute return fixed income investing.

"I have known Bill for the past 23 years," Janus' Weil states. "Bill is one of the greatest investors of all time and it has been my honor to work alongside him. I want to personally thank him for his contributions to the firm."

"I've had a wonderful ride for over 40 years in my career — trying at all times to put client interests first while investing and reinventing active bond management along the way," Gross states. "So many friends and associates at my two firms to thank — nothing is possible without a team working together with a common interest. I've been fortunate to have had that. And thank you to all of my past clients for their trust and support. I learned early on that without a client, there can be no franchise." 

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