A few months back, Bill Gross suggested that there was something sorta Mussolini-ish about our incoming president. His former employers at PIMCO don’t necessarily disagree, although they do suggest that their distinguished director emeritus perhaps look in the mirror.
“What we’ve lost, and I would say it is a good thing, is the autocratic style.”
That’s Manny Roman, PIMCO’s CEO, speaking, as he and Gross’ successor, CIO Dan Ivascyn, take the opportunity to show that, in spite of the Bill Gross Founders Room they must walk past each day, and Bill Gross Award they must hand out each year, PIMCO has fully and finally purged itself of everything and anything Bond King-ish.
“There’s a tendency to bestow royal terms on asset managers,” he said at a recent conference. “We’re much more like conductors of orchestras….”
Mr. Ivascyn typically lets others speak first in meetings, rarely appears on TV and chose a desk no bigger than others. He ended Pimco’s practice of reserving choice parking spots for key executives and, until recently, he drove a Toyota Prius to work.
In another departure from the Gross era, Mr. Ivascyn relies more heavily on the expertise of individual portfolio managers to find profitable trades. Under Mr. Gross, managers more closely followed directives set by broad investment calls.