In the weeks that followed, Gross tried to close ranks. He spent more than 20 minutes before a firm-wide meeting to discuss the media scrutiny that had beset the company, a speech in which he disparaged El-Erian, according to two people. When he ended to a standing ovation from the audience, including Hodge and Ivascyn, at least one executive declined to rise. Thimons, a managing director outspoken in his objections to Gross’s leadership, disagreed with his comments and refused to stand, according to a person who was present. El-Erian’s departure had prompted media scrutiny and reports of clashes between El-Erian and Gross. The Wall Street Journal cited one example where Gross complained that El-Erian wouldn’t let him run the firm’s entire $2 trillion in assets…To stop the reports, Gross set up interrogations of members of the investment committee, managing directors, and lower-ranking money managers. He carried around a three-ring binder of printed-out e-mails and hand-written notes to find out who was talking to the press. Among his suspects were Balls, a former journalist, and Thimons, the executive who had remained seated during the standing ovation and who had organized a going-away party for El-Erian. — Bloomberg News, December 3, 2014
Security camera footage of the office break room showing a young trader offering El-Erian a bite of his sandwich?
Eyewitness accounts of a member of the investment committee shaking El-Erian’s hand on his last day of work?
Chicken scratch that said something about how he was almost sure he saw two executive assistants mocking the birthday party he’d held for Bob The Cat last year. He was on the other side of the room so “not positive” but can read lips so pretty certain?
Earlier today, it was reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission has been “investigating whether bond fund manager Pimco inflated the returns of its Total Return Exchange-Traded Fund run by founder Bill Gross.” The probe is said to have sped up in recent weeks but has been going on for “at least a year.” Which means that it was happening when Mohamed El-Erian announced he was leaving the firm. Which means that it’s possible not all but some of Bill Gross’s behavior surrounding El-Erian’s departure could be attributed to stress related to the look-see by the SEC, a theory we decided to explore further. Our findings:
Last month, Pimco deputy chief investment officer Scott Mather announced that the “new normal,” a phrase created by Pimco founder Bill Gross and former CEO Mohamed El-Erian, was no longer. “Our view is that what you’ll see in next the few years is we’re going to head back to a new destination,” Maher said in an interview with Bloomberg Surveillance. It was assumed that Maher made the proclamation with the full backing of Gross, and, what’s more, that it came about as a result of Gross’s feelings for his collaborator El-Erian, who quit in February and who Gross, after a series of outbursts regarding the departure, was ready to declare dead to him, along with the phrase. Apparently, though, Maher spoke too soon. Read more »
Maybe the firm’s growth forecast for the U.S. is legit. Maybe we really are “head[ing] back to a new destination.” OR MAYBE SOMEONE JUST CAN’T STAND TO HEAR A PHRASE THAT REMINDS HIM OF SOMEONE WITH WHOM SOMEONE SPENT MANY A LATE NIGHT EATING GREASY TAKE OUT AND STANDING IN FRONT OF A WHITEBOARD WHILE TRYING TO COME UP WITH THE PERFECT NAME FOR THE CONCEPT…WHO SOMEONE RUES THE DAY HE EVER MET.. Read more »
Gross, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Trish Regan today, said El-Erian’s departure is still a mystery for him and a disappointment for the firm, which manages the world’s biggest bond fund. “I would say, ‘Come on, Mohamed, tell us why’,” Gross said in the interview. [Bloomberg, earlier]