Bill Gross left Pimco because there was no “reasonable way to continue there”, the so-called 'bond king' said today.
Admitting it was the “most obvious question”, Gross – whose surprise exit has led to a record outflow from the fund he used to manage, while giving Janus Capital's share price a nice little boost – said he would have “stayed to my last breath” if he could have found a way to do so.
Writing an introduction to his first investment outlook for Janus, Gross said: “Pimco is a great firm with lots of great people, and Allianz was a fine owner for many years. But slowly and with great hesitation, I came to understand that it was time for me to leave.”
“My first professional loves were markets, investing and competing in that framework. I want to return to a simpler role, completely focused on markets, investment performance and serving my clients. It seems like a good time to turn away from the complexity of helping to run a huge firm.”
The legendary investor did not address any of the rumours surrounding his departure, which happened just days after it emerged the US Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company around irregulatories with one of its ETFs. It subsequently was reported that the Pimco board was preparing to oust Gross, making it appear that he jumped before he was pushed.
But dismissing his abrupt job swap as “water under the bridge”, Gross instead focused on his future at Janus.
Gross said Janus boss Dick Weil had enthusastically suggested “let's dance together”
He added: “I am excited to work in a true partnership environment with people I trust. I want to help this team succeed. Most importantly, I want to continue to help clients achieve their goals. I am not ready to retire, so here I am.”
Of the fund he will now manage, Janus' Global Unconstrained Bond fund, Gross admitted it was “tiny, certainly, compared to anything I have been used to in recent decades, but that opens the door to a lot of new strategies”.